With a vote by the U.S. House on Tuesday funding for historically black colleges and universities and minority-serving schools was restored.
“Today we are sending an important message of support for our HBCUs and showing in no uncertain terms that we believe they are vital to our system of higher education,” said Sen. Doug Jones, D-Ala., one of the bill’s sponsors.
The House voted 319-96 in favor of the legislation that will provide $225 million a year to universities that serve minorities.
The bill’s passage in the Senate last week came after that annual funding had expired on Sept. 30 following blockage of the bill’s approval by Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., chair of the Senate Education Committee.
Alexander had previously objected to a unanimous consent to approve the bill, saying that he’d prefer a more long-term fix that included a reauthorization of the Higher Education Act.
Lawmakers reached a compromise this week, which included some of Alexander’s suggestions, including streamlining the federal financial aid application process, a move that would that lawmakers say would offset the cost of funding the schools by generating nearly $3 billion over a decade.
“Alabama A&M University appreciates the leadership of Senator Doug Jones in his successful effort to permanently renew federal funding to HBCUs,” said Andrew Hugine, Jr., President, Alabama A&M University in a statement. “Senator Jones’s efforts provides permanent reassurance to the more than 100 HBCUs that the federal government continues to believe in the mission and relevance of our institutions. Title III funding is critical to Alabama A&M University and essential to providing faculty development, enhancing our STEM disciplines, and distance education. Alabama is fortunate to have a senator who is a champion for HBCUs.”
“The students, faculty and staff of Miles College are appreciative of the diligence of Alabama Senator Doug Jones and the Senate Education Committee, which worked to produce the amendment to the FUTURE Act,” said Bobbie Knight, interim president at Miles College, in a statement. “The amendment to the FUTURE Act ensures that the Title III program, which provides substantial funding to Miles College and other HBCUs, remains funded by Congress. Senator Doug Jones has worked tirelessly to ensure that our students have a future.”