Washington, DC (September 26, 2019) – “The Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) is sincerely disappointed by U.S. Senate Health, Labor, Education and Pensions Chairman Lamar Alexander’s decision to object, again, to the passage of the FUTURE Act and, in so doing, allow $255 million in critical funds for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs) and other Minority-Serving Institutions to expire and the program itself, to elapse.
This critical funding stream (Title III, Part F) has, for over a decade, helped eligible colleges and universities enhance their fiscal stability, improve their institutional management, and strengthen their academic programming, with a particular focus on high-demand career areas, like careers in STEM fields. Now, as a result of the Senate’s failure to take appropriate and necessary action, Title III, Part F will now expire on September 30th, and unless further action is taken quickly, no new grants will be awarded for future school-years.
Although we were ultimately unsuccessful in convincing the Senate to preserve this program and its critical stream of funding, we express our sincere appreciation to Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) and Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) for their leadership in co-sponsoring the legislation, and to all of the other members of the U.S. Senate who came together, in a bipartisan way, to co-sponsor this legislation and reaffirm their support for HBCUs. Co-sponsoring Senators included: Senator David Perdue (R-GA), Senator Tina Smith (D-MN), Senator John Boozman (R-AR), Senator John Tester (D-MT), Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA), Senator Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT), Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS), Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA), Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC), Senator Krysten Sinema (D-AZ), Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) and Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV).
We also thank our entire higher education community for their tireless advocacy on behalf of this worthwhile effort. The thousands of letters, phone calls, social media posts, and in-person meetings conducted by our TMCF member-schools, advocacy organizations, higher education leaders, alumni, and students, further elevated our institutions in the national conversation over the last month, and we will continue to be present and vocal regarding Congressional efforts to shape the future of higher education during the remainder of the 116th Congress.” Harry L. Williams, TMCF president & CEO