- The President of the United States
Ask your elected officials to invest in our future - Support to keep TRiO programs alive.
Call to action!
Ask our Federal Elected Officials to support TRiO programs to make college dreams a reality for first generation, low-income students and students with disabilities,
The Council for Opportunity in Education lays out the implications of the current crisis.
Loss of Nearly 200 Upward Bound Projects
During the last grant competition for Upward Bound in 2007, several historic projects — including a disproportionate number of programs at historically black institutions — lost funding. At the time, Congress was crafting a budget reconciliation bill — the College Cost Reduction and Access Act (CCRAA). Under the leadership of Congressman Bobby Scott (D-VA), CCRAA included an amendment that provided $57 million each year for fiscal years 2008-2011 to fund 187 additional Upward Bound grants to serve approximately 12,000 students across the country.
Unlike typical TRIO funding, this mandatory money went into effect immediately — funding Upward Bound projects in the 2007-2008 academic year. Generally, TRIO appropriations are forward-funded. That is, appropriations for a particular fiscal year actually fund grants that begin during the following academic year (i.e., nearly a year after that fiscal year has begun).
The FY2011 TRIO appropriation will fund TRIO grants for academic year 2011-2012. However, because the mandatory funds for the nearly 200 Upward Bound programs provided by CCRAA went into effect immediately, the last academic year for which funds are available is 2010-2011. By failing to include additional discretionary funds to account for these programs in academic year 2011-2012, the Administration has essentially determined that it will not maintain the current number of Upward Bound projects (964 total). Rather, the Administration's FY2011 budget request only provides enough funds to support 778 Upward Bound programs in academic year 2011-2012.
Ultimately, without an increase in discretionary funding for Upward Bound in FY2011, about 200 Upward Bound programs serving 12,000 students will be lost.
Unfunded Mandate in Talent Search
The Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 (HEOA) requires Talent Search to provide services to support students' successful completion of rigorous postsecondary curricula. It mandates that Prior Experience Points be awarded on this basis. We know that this is a significant change that will require a host of additional staff and services, such as afterschool and Saturday sessions, online tutoring, etc. The current per-student cost of $393 will not be sufficient for these purposes. In fact, Talent Search personnel have indicated that the per-student cost for Talent Search must increase to at least $1,200 (or $807 above the current cost for each Talent Search student) to allow programs to meet this new prior experience criterion.
In spite of this knowledge, the Administration has opted to level-fund Talent Search and thereby impose an unfunded mandate or allow significant cuts in the number of Talent Search students served. Without changes to the authorizing legislation or additional appropriations, many Talent Search programs will be unable to meet this new criterion.
Continued Reduction of Students and Services in All Other Programs
Whether competing this year or not, all TRIO programs will be forced to stretch the same dollars as they have for the last several years. Between FY2006 and FY2010, inflation rose about 8%; meanwhile, TRIO lost over 39,000 students and $66.8 million in funding due to rising costs.1 With more Americans turning to higher education during this economic downturn, the need for increased services and support is greater than ever.
Despite vocal support of TRIO as both a Senator and presidential candidate as well as consistent reiteration of the goal to emerge first in the world for college completion by 2020, President Obama has failed to support increased investment in TRIO. We must push Congress to remedy the problems outlined above in their FY2011 appropriations legislation. Without such support, TRIO may not be there to support the many students who need our help in the future.
Source site: www.coenet.us
- The President of the United States
It is with great concern that I am writing to you to request your support for expanding TRIO Programs in the 2011 fiscal year. I know how difficult this will be in light of President Obama's recommendation to level fund TRiO programs and not include discretionary funds to support the current programs. The result of which would be an eliminating of over 200 TRIO programs resulting in a loss of services to over 12,000 disadvantaged students. In fiscal year 2010, TRiO already faced a loss of service to over 39,000 students.
I firmly believe that we, as a nation, cannot socially or economically afford the eradication of college access programs such as TRiO programs. Since we are living in a time where young people are already lacking motivation and concerns for education and the future, it is critical that we examine what message the elimination of such programs is sending to our young people. How can we continue to tell them to stay in school and to set goals, when opportunities are being taken away from them? Eliminating opportunities for our young people could begin a devastating cycle for our country in which the drop out rate will increase, in turn also increasing the crime rate. Both of these factors will lead to a decrease in the number of productive, taxpaying citizens. Thus, it is important that we, as a nation, continue to invest in our future by investing in our youth.
Please, do not deny our young people the opportunity to tackle the challenges that lie ahead of them. If we deny our youth an education, we are denying ourselves a bright and productive future. Please support an increase in discrectionary funding for the continuation of TRIO programs. Not only will this support benefit the young people that TRIO serves, but each and every citizen of the United States.
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