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April 7, 2008
HACU media contact:
Norma Jean Revilla-García

Advocates for Hispanic higher education to gather in Washington, DC
HACU Capitol Forum, April 13-15, 2008

With cuts to programs at Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) looming in President Bush’s budget requests, members of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU)  are gathering for HACU's 2008 National Capitol Forum on Hispanic Higher Education, April 13-15, at the Madison Hotel in Washington, D.C.

“It’s a critical election year, and the time to speak up on behalf of Hispanic higher education is now,” said Antonio Flores, HACU president and CEO.

U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao and the Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Chuck Conner will lead the roster of distinguished keynote speakers. Congressman Rubén Hinojosa (TX), a Congressional Hispanic Caucus leader and architect of the Higher Education Act’s funding provisions for HSIs, and Congressman Joseph Crowley (NY) whose amendment to the NSF reauthorization last year paves the way for increased STEM funding for HSIs, will also speak to Forum participants.

This Forum is critically timed to urge Congress to act now for Hispanic education and make a multi-million dollar investment in HSIs and Hispanic higher education.  The President’s FY 2009 budget proposal cuts $20 million from Title V funding and reduces HSI programs in USDA and HUD. Visits to Capitol Hill are planned as part of the forum to influence Congress to increase rather than decrease this funding.

In addition to appropriations issues, pending reauthorizations of the Higher Education Act and the Farm Bill indicate that additional multi-million dollar funding over the next five years is at stake for HSIs.  Congress is also expected to move the reauthorization of “No Child Left Behind,” which contains provisions for Teacher Education and resources for upgrading the nation’s K-12 education system.

Registration information and agenda available at

About HACU

HACU was established in 1986 with a founding membership of 18 institutions. Today, HACU represents approximately 450 colleges and universities committed to Hispanic higher education success in the United States, Puerto Rico, Latin America, Spain, and Portugal. HACU’s 22nd Annual Conference, “Championing Hispanic Higher Education Success: Strengthening the Nation's Prosperity and Opportunity” will be held on October 11-13, 2008 at the Hyatt Regency Denver and Colorado Convention Center in Denver, Colorado