Hispanic Educators Call for Record Spending Increases
Hispanic higher education leaders earlier this month urged Congress to approve record spending increases targeting the education needs of the nation’s youngest and fastest-growing population.
Armed with new Census Bureau reports showing a 60 percent increase in Hispanic population growth during the past decade, presidents and chancellors of colleges and universities serving large Hispanic populations in every major state met with members of Congress to stress a new urgency for Hispanic education funding needs.
The Capitol Hill visits were a part of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) 2001 National Capitol Forum on Hispanic Higher Education. HACU is urging record federal funding increases for education initiatives spanning kindergarten through graduate school. The organization represents more than 270 colleges and universities that altogether serve more than two-thirds of all Hispanic higher education students.
“It is all too clear that the nation’s economic and social success will hinge on the academic success of our Hispanic communities,” HACU President and CEO Antonio R. Flores says.
Hispanics, now the nation’s largest ethnic population, suffer average high-school dropout rates exceeding 40 percent. Nearly 90 percent of Hispanics over the age of 25 do not have a bachelor’s degree.
HACU is calling for a $100 million appropriation in fiscal year 2002 under Title V of the Higher Education Act to aid Hispanic-serving institutions that are designated as HSIs because their full-time student enrollment is at least 25 percent Hispanic. Congress appropriated $68.5 million to HSIs under Title V for fiscal 2001. HSIs receive only a fraction of federal funds on average compared to all other degree-granting institutions.
HACU also is calling for record spending increases in initiatives ranging from pre-collegiate and minority teacher preparation projects to new funds for graduate school programs.
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