|TRIO Community Requests $52 Million Increase in FY 2015!
(April 22, 2014)
In late March, more than 500 TRIO educators, students, and alumni took to Capitol Hill to request a $52 million increase in TRIO funding in FY 2015. If successful, this increase would yield a total appropriation of $890 million in TRIO funding for FY 2015. Ideally, this would support a 10% expansion of the Student Support Services program in the upcoming grant competition as well as a 3% increase in students across all existing TRIO grants. In total, an additional 43,000 students would be served. Such restoration is critical as nearly 120,000 students have been stripped of the life-altering services provided by TRIO due to funding cuts over the last decade.
To support this request, advocates solicited signatures for appropriations request letters in the House and Senate. The House letter (.pdf), which was led by Representatives Gwen Moore (D-WI), Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH), and Donald Payne Jr. (D-NJ), included 142 total signatures by the following legislators — Barber, Bass, Beatty, Becerra, Bishop, Blumenauer, Bonamici, Bordallo, Braley, Brown, Brownley, Butterfield, Capps, Capuano, Cardenas, Carson, Cartwright, Castro, Christensen, Chu, Cicilline, Clark (MA), Clark (NY), Cleaver, Cohen, Cole, Conyers Jr., Courtney, Crowley, Cummings, Davis (IL), DeFazio, DeGette, Delaney, DelBene, Dingell, Duckworth, Ellison, Engel, Enyart, Eshoo, Esty, Faleomavaega, Farr, Fattah, Foster, Frankel, Fudge, Gabbard, Gallego, Garamendi, Grayson, Green (TX-9), Green (TX-29), Grijalva, Gutierrez, Hanabusa, Hastings, Heck (WA), Higgins, Himes, Hinojosa, Holt, Horsford, Huffman, Israel, Jackson Lee, Johnson, Jr., Keating, Kennedy, Kilmer, Kind, Kirkpatrick, Kuster, Langevin, Lee, Lewis, Loebsack, Lofgren, Lowenthal, Luján, Lujan Grisham, Lynch, Maloney (NY-12), Maloney (NY-18), McCarthy, McDermott, McGovern, McKinley, McLeod, McNerney, Meeks, Meng, Michaud, Nadler, Napolitano, Neal, Nolan, Norton, O'Rourke, Owens, Pallone, Jr., Pascrell, Jr., Peters (MI), Peters (CA), Peterson, Pierluisi, Pingree, Pocan, Price (NC), Rahall, Rangel, Ruppersberger, Sanchez (CA-38), Sarbanes, Schakowsky, Scott (GA), Scott (VA), Sires, Slaughter, Smith, Swalwell, Takano, Thompson (MS), Thompson (CA), Tierney, Titus, Tonko, Tsongas, Vargas, Veasey, Vela, Velazquez, Walz, Waters, Welch, Wilson, Yarmuth, and Young.
Meanwhile, in the Senate letter (.pdf), which was led by Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Susan Collins (R-ME), gathered a total of 38 signatures from the following legislators — Blumenthal, Boxer, Brown, Cardin, Carper, Crapo, Durbin, Franken, Gillibrand, Hagan, Heinrich, Heitkamp, Hirono, Hoeven, Johnson (SD), Kaine, King, Klobuchar, Leahy, Levin, Manchin, Markey, Menendez, Murphy, Reed, Rockefeller, Sanders, Schatz, Schumer, Shaheen, Stabenow, Tester, Walsh, Warren, Whitehouse, and Wyden.
Additionally, the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (“LHHS”) Appropriations Subcommittees in the House and Senate have begun their work for the upcoming fiscal year. In late March, the House LHHS Subcommittee hosted a Public Witness Hearing that featured Dr. Charles Robinson, Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Community at the University of Arkansas. Dr. Robinson testified (.pdf) about the impact of TRIO on the University of Arkansas’ campus as well as the surrounding community. (To watch the video of Dr. Robinson's testimony, please click here. Starts at 01:11:00.) Two weeks later, the House LHHS Subcommittee hosted Education Secretary Arne Duncan, who discussed the Administration FY 2015 budget request. During this testimony, Congresswoman Martha Roby (R-AL) took the Secretary to task for proposing over $1 billion in new initiatives to support college access and completion initiatives for low-income students while simultaneously level-funding TRIO. She specifically cited the Alabama TRIO Fact book in making her point.
The TRIO community must continue to sound the drumbeat in support of its appropriations request throughout the spring and summer. To do this effectively, programs are urged to bring Members of Congress to visit their programs (.pdf), write letters (.pdf), and use social media to spread the TRIO message! Please continue to check the FY 2015 Call to Action section of our website for the latest talking points and materials to assist you in these efforts.