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Kaine Applauds Senate Passage Of Bill To Renew Expired Funding For HBCUs

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine, a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, applauded Senate passage of the FUTURE Act, bipartisan legislation he cosponsored to renew expired funding for minority-serving institutions of higher education, including the five Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in Virginia. 

“I’m thrilled the Senate was able to find a compromise and pass our bill to support HBCUs in Virginia and across the country. This funding demonstrates that we’re committed to the students who are doing fantastic work at schools like VUU, VSU, Hampton, Norfolk State, and Virginia University of Lynchburg. By keeping our promise to America’s HBCUs, we can help ensure these institutions remain strong for generations to come,” Kaine said.

 "Virginia State University (VSU) not only educates students, but also equips them with the experience and skills necessary to change our world for the better. The passing of the FUTURE Act supports VSU in preparing students to make such change. We’re grateful for Senators Kaine and Warner’s efforts to ensure that VSU is able to continue its mission of graduating lifelong learners who are well-equipped to serve their communities,” said Virginia State University President Dr. Makola M. Abdullah.

“The passage of the Fostering Undergraduate Talent by Unlocking Resources for Education Act (FUTURE Act) is exciting news because it provides critical funding to Hampton University, other Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and other minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs) by providing mandatory federal funding.  These federal funds also allow our institutions to better serve our students in the STEM fields of study while on campus.  The FUTURE Act is also creating good job employment opportunities for our students once they graduate.  Most importantly, STEM education is crucial to the continued growth and  economic development and value-added job creation in all of our communities,” said Hampton University President Dr. William R. Harvey.

“Today, the United States Senate passed an amendment to the FUTURE Act that will extend mandatory Title III funding for ten years. For Norfolk State University, this represents more than $5.8 million in federal funding for our teacher preparation and STEM programs. NSU expresses appreciation to Senators Tim Kaine, Mark Warner and Congressman Bobby Scott for standing with Virginia’s HBCUs, and urges the members of the House of Representatives to pass this legislation and send it to the President’s desk without delay,” said Norfolk State University President Dr. Javaune Adams-Gaston.

“The faculty and students of Virginia Union University (VUU) appreciate the bipartisan efforts of the U.S. Senate,” said Virginia Union University President Dr. Hakim Lucas.  “We feel so strongly about Congress’ need to authorize this funding that our student trustee, Ms. Jalynn Hodges, recently pushed both the House and Senate to finalize this effort.  As she has stated, VUU is one of the top ten producers of African Americans who eventually receive a Ph.D. in the biological sciences.  That is only possible with the kind of intentional federal support that the FUTURE Act offers.  More efforts like this should be done so that HBCUs can continue to make the same kind of impact that VUU is making on the Commonwealth of Virginia and the rest of our nation.”

Funding for minority-serving institutions of higher education lapsed on September 30. Last month, Senator Kaine spoke on the Senate floor to share stories of how the lapse in funding jeopardizes educational programs for students in Virginia and called for passage of the FUTURE Act. You can watch the video here.