Human resources

Texas congressman introduces bill to improve Hispanic educational resources

RIO GRANDE VALLEY, Texas (ValleyCentral) — To address the educational challenges facing Hispanics, a bill has been introduced in Congress to facilitate more resources to educational institutions in these areas.

HR 7454, also known as the “Hispanic Educational Resources and Empowerment Act of 2022,” was introduced in Congress on April 7 by Rep. Joaquin Castro (TX-20). There are 19 Democratic co-sponsors of the bill, including Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (TX-15).

The text of the bill states that Hispanics face disparities compared to other groups of people in educational outcomes based on “lower grades, lower standardized test scores, and dropout rates.” higher”.

These problems are intensifying and will continue to grow as Hispanics represent “the largest, youngest, and second fastest growing minority population in the United States” and make up 26% of the K-12 school population. the country’s 12th grade, according to the text of the bill. .

Despite being the largest minority group in the country, the text asserts that Hispanics “fall behind whites, blacks, and Asian Americans and Pacific Islander Native Americans in obtaining high school, associate’s and bachelor’s degrees.

According to the bill, the average weekly earnings of people with only high school diplomas are several hundred dollars lower than those of people with associate’s or bachelor’s degrees. With an estimated 6.9 million Hispanics expected to join the workforce this decade, these disparities could have a significant negative impact on Latinos.

In an effort to close this educational gap, HR 7454 aims to amend the “Higher Education Act of 1965” by improving the course offerings, program quality, and overall functionality of educational institutions that serve a large number of Hispanics.

To qualify, an educational institution must have at least 25% of its student body made up of Hispanics or be an “emerging Hispanic-serving institution” with at least 15% of its population made up of Hispanics.

Schools deemed eligible will be able to submit grants for funding that can be used to create a “college-related culture,” prepare students for post-secondary education, and align coursework and graduation requirements with college guidelines. entry to colleges and universities.

The text of the bill also calls for the development or improvement of vocational and technical education, work-based learning and advanced courses.

Each educational entity applying for grants under this bill will be required to report on how it will use the funding and affirm that it is using the funds appropriately.

The bill will need to pass a vote in the House of Representatives and the Senate and be signed by the president before taking effect.

To read the full text of the bill, go here.