From: The Honorable Raul M. Grijalva
Sent By: firstname.lastname@example.org
DEADLINE: COB, March 17
Please join me in seeking an increase in the funding level to $49.6 million for the High School Equivalency Program (HEP) and the College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP) in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 appropriations bill for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education.
Children of farmworker migrant and seasonal workers are some of the most disadvantaged and at-risk students in the country. They have one of the highest drop-out rates and encounter tremendous obstacles in completing high school and pursuing higher education. For nearly 40 years, the HEP/CAMP program has been successful in helping to close the access and completion gaps for many farmworker migrant and seasonal worker students by providing tutoring and other services and assistance to help them succeed in higher education.
By increasing funding for the HEP/CAMP program, Congress can help support these vital programs to serve a larger number of eligible and deserving children of farmworker migrant and seasonable workers in areas of the country with the most need.
If you have any questions or would like to join me in this request please contact Luis De Paz at Luis.email@example.com
Dear Chairman Cole and Ranking Member DeLauro,
We are writing to respectfully request that you fund the High School Equivalency Program (HEP) and the College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP) in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 appropriations bill for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education in the amount of $49.6 million, which is a $5 million increase over the FY 2016 level of funding.
For nearly 50 years, HEP and CAMP have been successful in helping to close the educational access and completion gaps for many children of farmworkers. These programs are authorized under Title IV, Part A, Subpart 5 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. § 1070d-2). Children of farmworkers are some of the most disadvantaged and at-risk students in the country. They often move frequently as a result of their parents’ or their own employment. These frequent disruptions and other factors contribute to very high dropout rates and low rates of enrollment in higher education opportunities. Through its comprehensive services, the HEP and CAMP programs reengage students who have dropped out of school and support the dreams of students who wish to pursue higher education.
To support farmworker students in the first year of college, CAMP offers academic and career counseling, tutoring, and assistance in obtaining financial aid, summer internships, and health services. The HEP program identifies students who have dropped out of high school and encourages and supports them to attain their GED. Students enrolled in a HEP program receive intensive GED instruction and other support services. The HEP and CAMP programs have high rates of success in helping students to attain their GED and to succeed in college.
According to the U.S. Department of Education, in 2014-2015, HEP projects provided services to over 5,000 students and CAMP programs provided services to approximately 1,800 students through competitive grants to institutions of higher education or non-profit organizations. As a result of these programs, many students now have a range of education and employment opportunities available to them. In 2014 – 2015, 86% of all CAMP participants successfully completed their first year at an Institution of Higher Education (24 credits and in good academic standing), and 66.6% of HEP students who completed their course of study earned a GED.
In FY 2016, due to your leadership, HEP and CAMP received an increase in funding in the amount of $7.4 million for a total of $44.6 million. We thank you for your leadership. Funding at this level triggered a provision in the Higher Education Act that directs the U.S. Department of Education to consider equitable geographic distribution of HEP and CAMP projects to ensure they are located in areas of the country that have the highest need.
We understand that funds are extremely limited; therefore, we respectfully request that the
Appropriations Committee provide a modest increase of $5 million for FY 2017. Such an increase would fund and equitably distribute approximately 11 additional programs in areas of the country with the highest need. By providing this level of support, Congress can help deserving students combat the pervasive achievement gap that exists in this country, and improve the quality of education for America’s students who are children of farmworker migrant and seasonal workers.
We thank you for your consideration and your attention to this request.