FY 2016 BUDGET PRIORITIES
Each February the President is expected to release a proposed budget outlining the Administration’s funding priorities for each federal agency. Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) reviews the budget and advocates for our own distinct proposed funding levels for our priority federal programs. As the budget and appropriations process unfolds, TMCF meets with key Congressional members and staff to brief them on key policy recommendations and gain their support for our suggested funding levels. We often submit stakeholder witness testimony to the Appropriations committee and sometimes even testify before Congress about policy recommendations. As funding for programs across the federal government shrinks, TMCF continues to engage Congress on budget priorities important to HBCUs. We urge Congress to increase, restore or maintain funding for a variety of programs including financial aid, STEM research, faculty development and specific HBCU accounts. As our nation becomes more diverse, HBCUs continue to educate and prepare the next generation of globally diverse leaders in science and technology, medicine, education, law, and public service. We encourage Congress to invest in HBCUs and the students they serve.
The following programs are vital to HBCUs and their mission to educate African Americans and offer rigorous academic programs that prepare students to be globally competitive in corporate, government, academic and research sectors.
Title III Part B: Strengthening Historically Black Colleges and Universities
Funding levels for the Title III, Part B programs are critical to enhance and sustain the quality of HBCUs, and to address national challenges associated with global competitiveness, job creation and changing demographics. Title III Part B programs help HBCUs support undergraduate programs and activities. Under the FY 2016 budget, we are working to protect the existing $267 discretionary funding and $85 million mandatory funding for Title III, Part B programs.
Support a maximum Pell Grant award of $5,960. Urge Congress to reinstate summer Pell Grants. These need-based grants provide critical funding to low-income students persisting toward degree completion.
DoD HBCU/MI program
TMCF urges Congress to consider an increase of $40 million in the FY 16 budget, or at a minimum maintain the current $34.4 million for the DoD/HBCU MI program. The HBCU/MI program provides access to scientific and technical information products and services to faculty, staff and students of Historically Black Colleges and Universities, American Indian Tribal Colleges and Universities, Native American-Serving Nontribal Institutions, and other minority serving institutions. Click here to learn more about the DoD/HBCU/MI program budget history and TMCF’s FY 2016 funding request.
The HBCU Capital Financing Program
TMCF recommends Congress appropriate $25 million for the HBCU Capital Financing Program in the FY 2016 budget. The HBCU Capital Financing Program supports the construction, reconstruction, and renovation of academic facilities at institutions of higher education. Visit the Department of Education to learn more about the HBCU Capital Financing Program.
HBCU Historic Preservation Fund
The HBCU Historic Preservation Fund was established to identify, and restore those historic structures on HBCU campuses considered to be most historically significant and physically threatened. The fund was also established in direct response to the needs of many historically black colleges and universities, which faced critical rehabilitation needs, but lacked the resources to repair these buildings.
TMCF recommends Congress restore funding to the HBCU Historic Preservation Fund at $15 million in the FY 2016 budget. The HBCU Historic Preservation Fund account was last funded in 2009 as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) at the level of $15 million. The Administration has proposed $90 million for the Historic Preservation Fund (HFP). Under this fund, $50 million is being proposed for a Civil Rights initiative to preserve historic projects nationwide that are connected to the Civil Rights and the African American experience. However, the HBCU Historic Preservation Fund is group under the same account at a mere $2.5 million in the proposed FY 2016 budget.
1890 Education and Facility Programs (HBCU Land-grant Universities)
Support for the 1890 Education and Facility Programs. There are four programs under this account. The funds are used to strengthen research, extension and teaching in the food and agricultural sciences by building the institutional capacities of the 1890 Institutions, including Tuskegee University.
STEM Education Programs
Investment in STEM education across the federal government is a national security issue. Please see below targeted programs that increase minority participation in STEM education and careers. We request that Congress fund these programs in the FY 2016 budget.
|National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
National Science Foundation (NSF)