Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

WASHINGTON UPDATE: House Plan Seeks Education Increase

Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

WASHINGTON UPDATE: House Plan Seeks Education Increase

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON UPDATE: House Plan Seeks Education Increase

Federal funding vital to low-income students and minority-serving institutions would increase under a new 2002 budget bill emerging from discussions in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The legislation from a House appropriations subcommittee would provide $7 billion more for education next year, an increase of 17 percent from current funding of $42 billion. This level is beyond the small increases that President Bush proposed earlier this year.

For Pell Grants, the foundation program in federal student aid, the top grant would increase from $3,750 to $4,000 a year. Education advocates had wanted a $600 increase, but the House plan goes beyond the small White House increase offered in the spring.

Recent reports pointing to a shortfall in Pell Grants may have spurred lawmakers to go beyond the president's budget, lobbyists said. Demand also may increase as more low-income students opt for college rather than a job in the uncertain economy.

"It's hard to predict participation in the program," says J. Noah Brown, federal relations director for the Association of Community College Trustees. Overall, Pell would get a $1.7 billion increase in the House bill. …

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