Sens. Tom Carper and Chris Coons, both D-Delaware, joined Sens. Doug Jones, D-Alabama, and Jon Tester, D-Montana, and 34 of their colleagues in a new push to pass funding for historically black colleges and universities and other minority-serving institutions.

In a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York, the senators called for the immediate passage of Senator Jones’ bipartisan FUTURE Act legislation, which would reauthorize $255 million per year in mandatory federal funding — which expired Sept. 30 — for an additional two years. The House of Representatives approved the legislation unanimously in September.

At Delaware State University, this federal funding helps to support, among other things, science, technology, engineering and math and teacher education programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

“HBCUs, TCUs and MSIs are an essential component of America’s higher education and workforce development system,” the senators wrote. “Given the importance of this funding to hundreds of institutions and millions of students, we request that the Senate delay no longer and take up the bipartisan FUTURE Act immediately to avoid permanent damage to our nation’s historic colleges.”

The FUTURE Act would ensure that DSU would continue to receive approximately $890,000 annually, which funds the following main programs: $270,000 for the Revitalizing Excellence and Expectations in Math and Science Program; $264,000 for the Teacher Education Program Enhancement Program; $174,000 for the Improving Library Services and Research Support Program; and $73,000 for Campus-Wide Classroom/Laboratories Facilities and Technology Upgrade Budget.

The full text of the letter can be found at bit.ly/2PPo9uJ.