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HACU Calls on Congress to Increase Funding for HSIs

HACU Calls on Congress to Increase Funding for HSIs
By Ben Hammer

The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) is calling on Congress to increase funding for Hispanic-serving institutions (HSIs) in a bill that addresses Title V funding for the upcoming fiscal year 2004.

HACU is calling for increased spending in several areas of the Expanding Opportunities in Higher Education Act of 2003, as well as asking Congress not to create a new category for “for-profit” HSIs, which it says would dilute Title V funding by increasing the number of schools that can draw funding from the federal category. The bill increases Title V funding for undergraduate development at HSIs from $93 million to $94 million in FY 2004.

“This bill, as currently written, does not begin to address the dramatic underfunding of Hispanic higher education by Congress, despite the fact that the nation’s youngest and largest ethnic population will have such a dramatic impact on our nation’s economic success and security,” says HACU President Antonio Flores.

The organization is calling on the House Subcommittee on 21st Century Competitiveness to:

• Authorize $50 million under Title II for eligible HSIs to expand teacher-education programs;

• Increase the amount of Title V funding for HSIs from $94 million to $465 million;

• Authorize $125 million for increased graduate education at HSIs;

• Authorize $50 million for technology improvements at HSIs;

• Authorize $30 million annually under Title VI for an Institute for Pan-Hispanic International Studies through HSI consortia and $20 million for a Hispanic International Scholars and Fellows program;

• Authorize $45 million to create a graduate fellowship program involving HSIs and non-HSIs in partnerships to increase Hispanic participation and success in areas of national priority.

“We must accord our largest ethnic population the opportunity to achieve the advanced skills and knowledge imperative to building a better future for our nation,” Flores says. “This bill does not address this critical challenge that has such enormous implications for our future.”

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