Last Friday, Reps. John Larson (D-CT) and Ruben Hinojosa (D-TX) introduced H.R. 4196, the Community College Emergency Stabilization Fund Act. The bill provides a one-time allocation of $700 million to states which in turn will provide grants to community colleges. H.R. 4196 provides critical funds to community colleges as they work to meet the wave of students entering community colleges. The bill’s sponsors are concerned about the perfect storm (higher enrollment and less funding) occurring on community college campuses. Therefore, bill provides critical funds to colleges to deal with staffing and faculty shortages to meet the rising enrollments. Colleges will be able to use funds to cover costs related to maintaining, or hiring additional faculty and staff, counselors or others. Additionally, the bill provides $50 million for a federal competitive grant program targeted to career and technical colleges.
Reps. Larson and Hinojosa are currently working to gather co-sponsors to their bill. The goal is to have the bill attached as part of any jobs package that Congress may move in the coming months. ACCT urges its members to reach out their Congressional members in support of H.R. 4196. The bill can be viewed at http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c111:H.R.4196:.