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Sample Letter regarding $100M for Title V to Appropriations Conference Committee

(Please revise as you see fit.)

Dear Appropriations Committee Member:

As a member of the Hispanic higher education community, I urge you to support the Senate’s proposal for a $100 million Title V (Higher Education Act) appropriation for Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) for FY 2005.

Although HSIs serve the largest concentrations of Hispanic higher education students, HSIs, on average, continue to receive only about half the funding per student accorded to every other degree-granting institution.

An increase in the Title V appropriation to at least $100 million, supported by bipartisan leaders in the Senate, will be a positive step in helping to close this funding gap which unfairly impacts the country’s youngest and largest ethnic population.

The lesser $95.9 million appropriation proposed by the House and before the Conference Committee is a mere 1.9 percent increase over FY 2004 funding and, as such, would not account for the cost of inflation, nor accommodate the 10% increase last year alone in the number of HSIs, not to mention the growing Hispanic college-age population. This inadequate proposal would essentially widen the gap in funding support for HSIs

The need for a minimum $100 million appropriation is vital for a population that comprises the fastest-growing sector of our U.S. work force, and which also continues to suffer the lowest high school and college graduation rates of any major population group.

Adequate, equitable funding for Hispanic higher education must become a priority so that every member of our diverse American community can contribute the advanced knowledge and skills needed for a strong nation in a high-technology and global economy.

I will look to your leadership on this urgent issue.