WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Cory Booker, whose parents both attended HBCUs, along with Senators Kamala Harris (D-CA) and Doug Jones (D-AL), led more than a dozen of their colleagues in urging Senate leadership and appropriators to support minority serving institutions (MSIs) in the next coronavirus stimulus package. New Jersey is home to 13 minority-serving institutions.
“As MSIs enroll a high number of low-income, first-generation college students and are consistently under-resourced due to smaller endowments and lower levels of federal and state investment, they need additional support to continue to respond and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic,” the lawmakers wrote in a letter sent yesterday to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and the Chair and Ranking Member of the Senate Appropriations Committee.
The group called for the following measures to be included in the next relief package to help MSIs weather the economic fallout from COVID-19:
Full text of the letter is available here.
In addition to Jones and Harris, the letter was signed by Senators Gillibrand (D-NY), Brown (D-OH), Warren (D-MA), Rosen (D-NV), Van Hollen (D-MD), Kaine (D-VA), Klobuchar (D-MN), Carper (D-DE), Cortez Masto (D-NV), Casey (D-PA), Warner (D-VA), Coons (D-DE), Hirono (D-HI), Cardin (D-MD), Sanders (I-VT), and Durbin (D-IL).
Booker, a member of the bicameral, bipartisan HBCU Caucus, has been a consistent and vocal advocate for MSIs. In March, he helped get 1.05 billion in emergency assistance for MSIs included in the CARES Act relief package, and helped secure language giving these institutions flexibility to use funds from previous years to cover COVID-19 related costs. Last fall he was instrumental in pushing the Senate to reauthorize lapsed funding for MSIs by passing the Fostering Undergraduate Talent by Unlocking Resources for Education (FUTURE) Act, a bill he had cosponsored.