Sending Office: Honorable Juan Vargas
Sent By:
Eddie.Meyer@mail.house.gov

Letter to House Appropriators in support of Hispanic-Serving Agricultural College’s and University’s (HSIs)

FY2020 co-signers (43): Alan Lowenthal, Albio Sires, Alcee L. Hastings, Barbara Lee,  Danny K. Davis, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Diana DeGette, Dina Titus, Eliot L. Engel, Filemon Vela, Frederica S. Wilson, Harley Rouda, Henry
C. “Hank” Johnson, Jr, Jenniffer González-Colón, Jimmy Panetta, John Garamendi, Kathy Castor, Linda T. Sánchez, Marc Veasey, Mark Takano, Raul Grijalva, Ro Khanna, Ruben Gallego, Salud Carbajal, Tony Cárdenas, Vicente Gonzalez, Jerrold Nadler, Al Green, Grace
F. Napolitano, Doris Matsui, Lloyd Doggett, Ben Ray Luján, Deb Haaland

FY2019 Cosigners (60): A. Donald McEachin, Adriano Espaillat, Al Green, Alan Lowenthal, Albio Sires, Alcee L. Hastings, Alma S. Adams, Ami Bera, M.D., Barbara Lee, Ben Ray Luján, Danny K. Davis, Darren Soto, Debbie Wasserman
Schultz, Diana DeGette, Dina Titus, Donald M. Payne, Jr., Doris Matsui, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Eliot L. Engel, Eric Swalwell, Filemon Vela, Grace F. Napolitano, J. Luis Correa, Jenniffer González-Colón, Jerrold Nadler, Jim Costa, Jimmy Gomez, Jimmy Panetta,
Joaquin Castro, John Garamendi, Judy Chu, Kathy Castor, Linda T. Sánchez, Lloyd Doggett, Marc Veasey, Mark DeSaulnier, Mark Takano, Nanette Diaz Barragán, Norma J. Torres, Nydia M. Velázquez, Raul Grijalva, Raul Ruiz, Ro Khanna, Salud Carbajal, Sheila Jackson
Lee, Tom O’Halleran, Tony Cárdenas, Tulsi Gabbard, Vicente Gonzalez, Will Hurd, Yvette D. Clarke,

Endorsed by: Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU)

Sign-on Deadline: Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Appropriations Submission Deadline: Thursday, March 28, 2019

*This is a programmatic request*

Dear Colleague,

Only 16 percent of the Hispanic Population 25 and older hold a bachelor’s degree and a mere 3 percent hold an advanced degree. HSIs play a crucial role in addressing this educational disparity, enrolling 66 percent of Hispanic college students and 24 percent
of all students in non-profit postsecondary education. Despite this crucial role in education, HSIs continue to be underfunded year after year. 

Rep. Juan Vargas and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are co-leading a letter to House Appropriators requesting the following essential funding for HSIs across the nation.

The letter is requesting the following:

  • To the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor-HHS-Ed
    • $150 million for the Title V, Part A-HSI Program, and
    • $30 million for Title V, Part B- HSI Program.

*Please note -There is an increase in the funding request for Title V. This is mainly due to the number of eligible institutions having grown by 30.

  • To the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice and Science
    • $50 million funding increase the quality of STEM education.
  • To the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture,
    • $20 million for the HSACU Education Grants,
    • $20 HSACU Equity Grants, and
    • $10 million for the HSACU Institutional Capacity- Building Grant Program.

For your convenience, the full text of the letter is included below. For more information, or to join the letter, please contact any of the following staffers: Eddie Meyer of Rep. Juan Vargas’ staff at
eddie.meyer@mail.house.gov or Dan Riffle of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez at
Dan.Riffle@mail.house.gov


Dear Chairman Bishop, Serrano, and DeLauro and Ranking Member: Fortenberry, Aderholt, and Cole:

As you consider appropriations for Fiscal Year (FY) 2020, we respectfully request that the House Appropriations Committee consider the following requests for several programs that support the 523 Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) across 28 States, Puerto
Rico and the District of Columbia. 

Hispanic students continue to be at a disadvantage as only 16 percent of the Hispanic population 25 and older holds a bachelor’s degree and a mere 3 percent of the same population holds an advanced degree. As our labor markets continue to evolve, it is imperative
that we prepare Hispanic students to enter the labor forces that increasingly demands higher levels of education. 

HSIs play a crucial role in addressing the education gap, enrolling 66 percent of the 3.5 million Hispanic college students and 24 percent of all college students in non-profit postsecondary institutions. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, projections
indicate that 74 percent of all the new workers joining the American labor force in the current decade will be Hispanic. Despite serving such a vital role in educating our next generation of leaders, HSIs continue to be underfunded, receiving only 68 cents
for every dollar going to all colleges and universities annually, per student, across all federal funding sources. We respectfully request that you include $150 million for the Title V, Part A- HSI Program and $30 million for the Title V, Part B – HSI Program,
which will support Hispanic students in undergraduate and graduate programs, respectively.

To address a portion of the funding shortage for HSIs, the 2008 Farm Bill included a new federal designation, Hispanic-Serving Agricultural Colleges and Universities (HSACUs) for HSIs offering degree programs in agriculture and related areas. The legislation
authorized new programs for HSACUs to strengthen their capacity to serve Hispanic students and other low-income students pursuing degrees in agriculture and related fields. There are 140 HSACUs across the United States that are driving innovative solutions
for the nation’s agricultural challenges. We respectfully request that you include $20 million for the HSACU Education Grants, $20 HSACU Equity Grants and $10 million for the HSACU Institutional Capacity- Building Grant Program.

Additionally, the American COMPETES Act, created an HSI program at the National Science Foundation (NSF). The HSI program is designed to increase the recruitment, retention and graduation rates of Hispanic students pursuing degrees in science, mathematics,
engineering or technology and to increase the quality of STEM education. We respectfully request that you appropriate $50 million for the HSI Program at the NSF. 

Given the state of our nation’s economy and with rising enrollments at community colleges and Minority-Serving Institutions, federal investments in these programs are vital to build a competitive labor force to meet the challenges of tomorrow.  Thank you
for your consideration of these requests.

Sincerely,

 

JUAN VARGAS                             Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez   

Member of Congress                           Member of Congress     

Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information: Agriculture, Appropriations, Education, Science, Technology

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