OCA Urges Senate to Vote Yes NOW on FUTURE Act

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

17 September 2019

Contact: Thu Nguyen | Communications Manager

202.223.5500 | tnguyen@ocanational.org

Washington, DC - OCA - Asian Pacific American Advocates urges the Senate to take immediate action on H.R. 2486, the FUTURE Act, which will continue federal funding for minority-serving institutions (MSIs). On Tuesday evening, the House voted to pass the bill, leaving its implementation up to the Senate.  

MSIs, which include Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs), Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institutions (AANAPISIs), and Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs), have been receiving mandatory federal funding that ends on September 30, 2019. This funding has enabled colleges to better serve low-income, first-generation, and limited-English proficient students. The FUTURE Act shifts existing funds within the current budget to provide the immediate continuation of MSI funding for the next two years.  

This is a short term fix while Congress negotiates a comprehensive reauthorization of the Higher Education Act -- a process that can take anywhere from several months or several years to complete.  The original FUTURE Act was introduced in the Senate in May but stalled, creating incredible uncertainty for students and faculty at MSIs across the country.  

Half of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are enrolled in and receive their degrees from AANAPISIs. Research has shown the positive impacts that AANAPISI programs and other MSIs have on low-income students of color, especially those who are first in their families to go to college.  One-third of AANAPISIs have higher graduation rates for AAPIs than peer institutions and also play a significant role in preserving the heritage, culture, history, and experiences of AAPIs.   

“The bipartisan FUTURE Act is imperative for getting our nation’s poorest, particularly immigrant and first-generation students to and through college. The Senate needs to do its job and vote on MSI funding before it runs out this month,” said Rita Pin Ahrens, OCA National Executive Director. “Voting yes NOW for the FUTURE Act as we celebrate HBCU Week, HSI Week, AANAPISI Week, and National Tribal College Week throughout the months of September and October sends a strong message of support and celebration of America’s growing diversity.”

View Bay Area resolution urging Senate to pass FUTURE Act here.

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OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates is a national civil rights organization dedicated to improving the social, political, and economic well-being of Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs).