May 02, 2019
Washington, DC – U.S. Senators Doug Jones (D-Ala.) and Tim Scott (R-S.C.), along with their colleagues U.S. Representatives Alma Adams (D-N.C.) and Mark Walker (R-N.C.), today introduced bipartisan legislation to reauthorize funding for all minority-serving institutions, including Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). The Fostering Undergraduate Talent by Unlocking Resources for Education (FUTURE) Act will provide continued support for HBCUs and other minority-serving institutions of higher education whose funding is currently set to expire at the end of Fiscal Year 2019. That would leave hundreds of schools without vital financial support. The funds provided for in this legislation could be put toward capital improvement needs, as well as faculty and curriculum development and student services.
“Alabama is home to fourteen outstanding HBCUs that serve as a gateway to the middle class for many first-generation, low-income, and minority Americans. Our HBCUs have continued to achieve remarkable accomplishments despite many facing financial challenges. The FUTURE Act will help ensure these historic schools and all minority-serving institutions continue to provide excellent education opportunities for their students,” said Senator Jones, a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.
“We all have a role to play in making the dream of college a reality for those who wish to pursue their education. The eight HBCU’s in South Carolina have made a significant impact in our communities, creating thousands of jobs which translates to over $5 billion in lifetime earnings for their graduates. The FUTURE Act will not only strengthen these institutions, but create opportunity for their neighbors to prosper,” said Senator Scott.
There are more than 100 accredited HBCUs, both public and private, in 19 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. They enroll approximately 300,000 students, 80-percent of whom are African-American and 70-percent are from low-income families. While HBCUs only make up three-percent of the country’s colleges and universities today, they produce nearly 20-percent of all African-American graduates.
In the last Congress, Senator Jones introduced the Strengthening Minority-Serving Institutions Act that would have increased mandatory funding levels from $255 million to $300 million a year and extended those funds permanently. His legislation earned support from more than one-fourth of the full Senate.