This week, Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter led a group of 21 Representatives in sending a letter to the House Appropriations Committee requesting that Federal TRIO Programs be protected from further cuts under sequestration in Fiscal Year 2014.
TRIO Programs are educational opportunity outreach programs that help students, veterans, and working adults access higher education, navigate their courses, and graduate. In New Hampshire, TRIO supports 1,300 middle and high school students from disadvantaged backgrounds.
"Investments in effective programs such as TRIO lead to a better educated citizenry and greater economic growth," Shea-Porter said. "Cutting TRIO programs is shortsighted and harmful to students and families in New Hampshire and across the country."
TRIO has suffered several years of funding freezes and reductions that have eliminated or reduced numerous services and programs for low-income students. Now, sequestration is causing another round of substantial cuts that directly affects TRIO's ability to prepare students for college and seek financial support, assist with the admissions and application process, and support educational aspirations.
"We are tremendously pleased that Rep. Shea-Porter has led the national fight for supporting TRIO Programs," said Randy Schroeder, President of the NH Educational Opportunity Association (NHEOA) and TRIO Counselor. "She understands that TRIO is an investment that gets paid back many times over through the success of low income students who become successful employees and professionals. Her efforts come as the Upward Bound programs at Keene State College and the University of New Hampshire gear up for their intensive six-week summer sessions."
Congresswoman Shea-Porter has been a strong and vocal supporter of TRIO and Upward Bound. In 2009, she received the Shirley Chisholm Award from the New England Education Opportunity Association for her strong leadership and commitment to TRIO.
Additional representatives to cosign the letter include: Ami Bera (CA-7), Madeleine Bordallo (GU) , Corrine Brown (FL-5), Julia Brownley (CA-26), Tony Cárdenas (CA-29), Matthew Cartwright (PA-17), Judy Chu (CA-27), Yvette Clarke (NY-9), Janice Hahn (CA-44), Alcee L. Hastings (FL-20), Jared Huffman (CA-2), Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ-1), Ann Mclane Kuster (NH-2), Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18), Gwen Moore (WI-4), Charles Rangel (NY-13), Bobby Scott (VA-3), Terri Sewell (AL-7), Marc Veasey (TX-33), Frederica S. Wilson (FL-24).
Full text of the letter is below.
The Honorable Jack Kingston and The Honorable Rosa DeLauro
Chair and Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies
House Appropriations Committee
Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Chairman Kingston and Ranking Member DeLauro:
We write to request your subcommittee provide sufficient funds to exempt Federal TRIO Programs from sequester cuts in the Fiscal Year 2014 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations bill.
TRIO Programs are educational opportunity outreach programs designed to motivate and support students from disadvantaged backgrounds. These programs prove their value year after year as TRIO students access higher education, navigate their courses, and graduate. In the aftermath of the recession, our communities need these programs now more than ever.
We have had the pleasure of meeting many of the low income, first-generation, and disabled students who complete TRIO programs and attend college against long odds. These students are the leaders of tomorrow, and we must invest in them to invest in our country's future.
Before sequestration, TRIO programs were already suffering from Department of Education cuts that eliminated essential staff positions. Now, sequestration is causing another round of layoffs. TRIO counselors are the backbone of these programs--their work with students during the school year supports high school success and prepares students for the college search, admissions and application process. The loss of dedicated staff undermines the effectiveness of these programs and the well-being of these students.
TRIO programs currently serve almost 790,000 students nationwide. We urge you to consider the effectiveness of these programs and the future prospects of these students and their communities when making appropriations decisions, and to exempt TRIO programs from sequestration.
Member of Congress