09/17/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 09/17/2019 18:04
WASHINGTON, D.C. -U.S. Representative Mark Walker (R-N.C.) today released the following statement after the U.S. House of Representatives passed his bill, theFostering Undergraduate Talent by Unlocking Resources for Education (FUTURE) Act:
'We made a promise to serve all of our North Carolina communities and open doors of hope and opportunity. Few institutions assist more in those efforts than the HBCUs, like North Carolina A&T State University, that educate and equip hundreds of thousands of students across the country. With the successful passage of the FUTURE Act, we are keeping that promise, but more importantly, we are creating a more promising future for our next generation of job-creators, innovators and leaders.'
Walker and U.S. Representative Alma Adams (D-N.C.) introduced the FUTURE Actin May. This bi-partisan and bi-cameral legislation reauthorizes minority-serving institution (MSI) funding - including for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) like North Carolina A&T State University - from the Higher Education Act for two years. Current funding is set to expire on September 30, 2019.
'HBCUs and other minority serving institutions fulfill a critical role ensuring that low-income, first generation college students are not left behind. I founded the Congressional Bipartisan HBCU Caucus to advance the interests of our schools and I will keep fighting to ensure that Congress continues to uphold its commitments to these institutions,' said Congresswoman Adams.'Now that the House has acted, I urge my Senate colleagues to pass this bill to ensure that HBCUs and other minority serving institutions can continue to provide pathways of opportunity to the nearly six million students they serve.'
Senators Doug Jones (D-Ala.) and Tim Scott (D-S.C.) introduced the Senate companion in May as well.
The financial support authorized in the FUTURE Actis vital to the more than 100 HBCUs across 19 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands who serve nearly 300,000 students. Seventy percent of HBCU students come from low-income families.
Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) president and CEO Dr. Harry L. Williams, and the presidents and CEOs of the American Indian Higher Education Consortium, Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU), National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education, the United Negro College Fund and many universities across the country including North Carolina A&T State University have all voiced their support for this legislation.'I am proud that the House took urgent action to pass the FUTURE Act,' said Dr. Michael L. Lomax, president and CEO of UNCF. 'There are 101 HBCUs in our country and this bill ensures that they, and their students, are not severely impacted by a loss of funding that they have been able to benefit from for the last 12 years. Not only does this bill impact HBCUs that serve close to 300,000 students around the country, this bill impacts other TCUs, HSIs, and MSIs that serve over 4 million students. This bipartisan, bicameral bill is the surestway for our institutions to continue funding, come September 30.'
You can read the full text of the legislation here.
Walker joins Scott in hosting an annual eventengaging with Presidents and Chancellors from HBCUs in an event called the HBCU Fly-In. Walker also joined Adams in creating the first-ever paid internship programon Capitol Hill for HBCU students - the HBCU Bi-Partisan Congressional Internship Program.