DPCC Report: Leader McConnell and Senate Republicans Leave Students at Minority-Serving Schools Behind

November 5, 2019

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Chair of the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee, today released a report highlighting Leader McConnell and Senate Republicans’ refusal to fund Minority-Serving Institutions (MSI). MSIs are institutions of higher education that serve high populations of students of color and enroll many low-income students.

 The bipartisan Fostering Undergraduate Talent by Unlocking Resources for Education (FUTURE) Act, authored by Senator Doug Jones, reauthorizes critical mandatory funding for MSIs, which expired on September 30. The FUTURE Act was passed by the House of Representatives on September 17, 49 days ago. If the FUTURE Act is not passed, MSIs stand to lose over $500 million in federal funds over the next two years.

 “Historically black colleges, tribal colleges and other minority-serving schools are critical to our students and our future. Keeping these schools fully funded creates more opportunities for their students, many of whom are low-income students and students of color. Leader McConnell must bring up the FUTURE Act in the Senate to reauthorize this critical funding,” said Senator Stabenow.

 “Minority Serving Institutions are the bedrock of America’s higher education system. They produce some of our brightest minds, and it is time we invest in them so that they can keep their doors open now and for generations to come,” said U.S Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer. “The FUTURE Act does just that by ensuring that Minority Serving Institutions have the funding they need to continue their educational mission.  The House has done its job and passed this vital legislation and I will fight tooth and nail to ensure that the Senate does its part to give these institutions and the students they serve the certainty needed to succeed.”

 In order to provide a quality education for students, MSIs rely on various federal funding sources to improve student services and academics such as counseling, tutoring, mentoring, and STEM and career training programs. Over the last 12 years, more than $2.5 billion in federal funds have gone to support important programs at these institutions.

 MSIs also create pathways for students of color to attain degrees in STEM fields and secure good-paying jobs. HBCUs, for example, have created over 134,000 jobs and have produced over $10 billion in gross regional product and a total annual economic impact of nearly $15 billion.