Members of Congress are making final decisions now on FY 2012 spending bills, including the all-important Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (LHHS) appropriations bill. AACC is asking its members to urge their representatives and senators to support community college funding priorities, particularly on the issues listed below. While these final decisions will be made by a small group of appropriators and House and Senate leaders, it is important that all members of Congress hear this message.
Please contact your representatives and senators today and urge their support for the following three priorities:
1. Protect the Pell Grant Program: Congress should reject any cuts to Pell that go beyond the $1.3 billion needed to fill the current shortfall, as proposed by the House. In particular, final legislation must not eliminate Pell eligibility for less-than-half-time and ability-to-benefit students, who disproportionately attend community colleges.
2. Maintain Funding for Workforce Training Programs: Congress should adopt the Senate’s approach and maintain level funding for U.S. Department of Labor workforce training programs that help dislocated workers, low-income adults, and at-risk youth get the education and training they need for family-supporting jobs. The drastic cuts to these programs proposed by the House would devastate these crucial services.
3. Preserve Funding for Minority-Serving Institutions: Final appropriations legislation also should maintain funding for the Higher Education Act Title III and V programs. Reject the crippling cuts in the House bill, which would eliminate several of these programs.
For further information, please contact AACC Senior Vice President of Government Relations David Baime, Director of Government Relations Jim Hermes, or Legislative Associate Laurie Quarles.