Late Tuesday night, congressional leadership introduced its year-end spending package to fund the federal government for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2016 (Program Year 2016-2017). This legislation included the $60 million (or 7.2%) funding increase for TRIO programs for a total appropriation of $900 million. This represents the third largest increase among all programs funded within the Department of Education.
While we are confident that this boost in funding will translate into a real increase for your programs, the exact level of that increase remains uncertain as the Department has the authority to allocate some of the increase to fund new Talent Search and EOC projects. In the report language accompanying the bill, Congress encourages the Department to publish the applications for the Talent Search and EOC competitions as soon as possible and to issue grant awards by July 31, 2016. Congress also echoes our community’s concerns regarding the competitive preference priorities for Talent Search and urges the Secretary to give fair value to prior experience points.
All in all, this legislation demonstrates the very real impact of your advocacy. Just as you have reached out to ask your legislators for an increase all year long, we now ask you to contact your House Representative and Senators to offer a word of thanks for this funding increase to support low-income, first-generation students and students with disabilities. Contact information for all Members of Congress is available at www.contactingthecongress.org. You can also reach any congressional office by dialing the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 225-3121.
Once again, this represents a major win for our community. Thank you for your outstanding commitment to our students and programs!