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February 04, 2008
Contact: Norma Jean Revilla-García
(210) 576-3206

President's FY09 budget cuts a dismal reality for Latinos and the colleges that serve them;

Budget cuts to impact student access and success

San Antonio, TX- Proposed cuts to Hispanic higher education in President Bush’s FY 2009 budget proved to be a major disappointment to the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU). The 20 percent reduction from FY 2008 affects the Developing Hispanic-Serving Institutions program under Title V of the Higher Education Act.  

“The President’s education budget cuts are counterproductive to the health of the nation,” said Antonio Flores, President and CEO of HACU. “At a time when Hispanics are the youngest and fastest-growing segment of the population and increasingly key to the American workforce, the national investment in Hispanic education needs a quantum leap upward rather than a reduction.”

The nation’s 270 Hispanic-Serving Institutions eligible for Title V funding enroll half of the two million Hispanic-American college students today, but receive only half the federal funding that other colleges and universities receive.

The President’s proposed reduction at first glance may seem to be an increase since it includes $100 million in each of FY 2008 and FY 2009 funding authorized in last year’s College Cost Reduction and Access Act (CCRAA).  However, the CCRAA money was a two-year-only mandatory appropriation to improve science and technology education.  When the CCRAA funding is not included, Title V itself will lose $19 million from $93 million in 2008 to $74 million in 2009 in the President’s budget request.

Hispanics are not the only target of the President’s cuts. Historically Black Colleges and Universities will be cut $100 million in FY 2009 when CCRAA funding is discounted. And Tribal Colleges and Universities, set to get $53 million in FY 2008 (including $30 million through CCRAA), will be reduced in 2009 to CCRAA funding alone.

HACU represents approximately 450 colleges and universities committed to Hispanic higher education success in the U.S., Puerto Rico, Latin America and Spain. HACU is the only national educational association that represents Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs).