Cuellar Talks Federal Budget with Local Higher Education Reps
Administrators for Laredo Community College and Texas A&M International
University (TAMIU) met with Congressman Henry Cuellar last week at TAMIU
to discuss the impact of proposed federal budget cuts to local higher
Dr. Ray Keck, TAMIU president, and Dr. Ramon Dovalina, LCC president,
shared their concerns over proposed reductions that could undermine educational
growth in the area.
"Our message is simple: reductions in funding will also reduce
the number of students who are able to participate in higher education,
be it TAMIU or LCC," Dr. Keck said.
Dr. Dovalina concurred.
"With federal cuts and proposed state cuts, we're seeing a double-whammy.
We would all be forced to raise tuition. Those that will be hurt are our
students," he explained.
Among key issues the group shared with Cuellar were the need to increase
the amount of Pell Grants awarded so that it would cover current tuition
and fees; not cutting federal work study programs and expanding the Perkins
program which provides student assistance.
Cuellar, long a proponent of higher education, shared his perspective,
noting that Washington politics are challenging.
"Of the 150 programs in this proposed budget, 1/3 or 49 of those
eliminated are in education. I will continue to fight for higher education
and bringing more federal monies to Laredo. I'm also encouraging both
institutions to continue to aggressively explore federal granting opportunities,"
Cuellar was in town to present the keynote address at the Vision Conference
held at TAMIU last week. During his visit, he toured the district's vulnerable
education programs, including Upward Bound programs in Laredo, San Antonio
and San Marcos.
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