TMCF Cautions Lawmakers Over Expiration of HBCUs Federal Funding
Many HBCUs are considering layoffs and winding up programs two weeks after the expiration of federal funding for such institutions.
Thurgood Marshall College Fund shared the concern in a letter written to four top lawmakers, wherein its president Harry L. Williams expressed disappointment over non-passage of Fostering Undergraduate Talent by Unlocking Resources for Education (FUTURE) Act.
In late September, the bill was stalled in Senate after objected by Senator Lamar Alexander who suggested a long-term fix.
“Ensuring that historically black colleges and universities have continued funding is something we all want to do,” Alexander said. “However, instead of a short term patch, I favor a long term solution.”
Williams in his letter said that many campuses it represents have already notified, “employees that their positions and programs will be terminated as of September 30, 2020, if not sooner”.
The joint bicameral, bipartisan bill introduced by U.S. Senators Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and Doug Jones (D-Ala) in May proposed to further the capital improvement needs, as well as faculty and curriculum development and student services at HBCUs and MSIs.
“The longer we wait to give certainty to these universities, the more institutions will be left with no choice but to begin winding-down programs that materially benefit students and employees alike, and strip away the institutional knowledge bases that our schools have built over time with the support of Title III, Part F,” the letter reads.
The president urged the Senate to urgently pass the FUTURE Act and extended its support to develop a longer-term solution to the funding concerns of HBCUs in Title III, Part F of the Higher Education Act of 1965.
“This course of action is the cleanest and most expedient way to provide immediate certainty to our nation’s HBCUs and MSIs,” Williams added.