OCA Disappointed in Senate Stalling on Funding for MSIs

01 October 2019


Contact: Thu Nguyen | Communications Manager

202.223.5500 | tnguyen@ocanational.org

Washington, DC - OCA - Asian Pacific American Advocates is extremely disappointed that the Senate has allowed funding for Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) to lapse. Federal funding for MSIs, which include Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institutions (AANAPISIs), ended on September 30, 2019. Continuation of the funds was offered by the bipartisan FUTURE Act, which the House passed in mid-September, without a single objection from House Republicans. Despite significant national uproar in support of AANAPISIs, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and other MSIs, Senate Republican leadership and Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) stalled a vote on the bill for weeks until the funding ran out. 

“There is overwhelming agreement across the aisle for the need to continue MSI funding, and the FUTURE Act provides an immediate fix,” said Rita Pin Ahrens, OCA National Executive Director. “Senator Alexander’s insistence on trying to pass a package of mishmash HEA bills together is disingenuous -- we don’t have time, and we know the Higher Education Act will require months or even years to negotiate.  Colleges need to know they will have the MSI funds coming, so they can plan their budgets and programs for next year. Do Senate Republicans really want to be responsible for program cuts to support low-income students of color across the country because they keep stalling on a vote on the FUTURE Act?” 

OCA urges OCA advocates, friends, and family to demand their Senators call for a vote on the FUTURE Act this week. Our community depends on these resources for low-income AAPI students.