August marked the beginning of another school year, with many new students entering college as freshmen. Many of these are Latinos who are the first in their families to go to college. And, many of these students are relying on a Pell Grant to make the dream of a higher education a reality.
Over 657,000 Texas students attending college received a Pell Grant to help pay for college in the 2010-2011 school year. Despite the importance of Pell Grants, Quico Canseco and other Tea Party Republican extremists in Congress voted to cut the money for Pell Grants. This action hurts every Texas student who relies on grants -- and these students are disproportionately Latino. Cuts to Pell grants could erase the gains in higher education made by Latino students in recent years.
"Extremists like Quico Canseco are putting the American dream out of reach for students from working families." said Rebecca Acuña, Gallego for Congress spokeswoman. "Quico's irresponsible vote to gut financial assistance hurts families and our state as a whole. A Pell Grant can change a student's future, especially in the Hispanic community."
Quico Canseco voted to cut more than $15 billion from the Pell Grant program next year -- a move that would threaten Hispanic students. Approximately 40 percent of Hispanic college students rely on Pell Grants. Pell Grants currently cover 22 percent of a Hispanic student's college expenses. Seventy four percent of students who receive Pell Grants come from families with yearly incomes of $30,000 or less. Estimates show that the budget Quico Canseco voted for would reduce Pell Grant funding by 42 percent.
"There's an unquestionable connection between access to education and a better future," added State Representative Pete Gallego. "Education opened the door to opportunity in my life, and I believe all Texas should have a shot at a better future. In Congress I'll fight to increase grants, increase access to opportunity, and protect the future of our Texas students."
This communication is part of a series that will highlight some of Quico Canseco's votes that negatively affect Texans, and disproportionately hurt Hispanics in Texas.