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Inside Higher Ed: "Biden’s Promise to HBCUs Unfulfilled by Congress"
A member of Congress and organizations representing HBCUs aren’t thrilled with their treatment in the current language of the budget reconciliation bill
Alexis Gravely reports at Inside Higher Education …
In the current version of the budget reconciliation bill serving as the vehicle for Biden’s Build Back Better Act, HBCUs and other minority-serving institutions are slated to receive $27 billion in tuition subsidies, $1.45 billion for institutional aid and $2 billion to improve research and development infrastructure. Meanwhile, Biden proposed a total of $55 billion for HBCUs and other MSIs to upgrade research infrastructure and create research incubators for improving STEM education.
“The number is just significantly lower than what we had hoped for,” said Paul Jones, president of Fort Valley State University and vice chair of the Council of 1890 Presidents. “Along with the minority-serving institutions and the Hispanic-serving institutions, it's really sort of lumping us all into this one sector when we all have tremendous needs.”
HBCUs have been a key part of solving the nation’s problems first -- whether that’s providing access to education for Black and low-income students or helping underrepresented men and women break into STEM field, said Makola Abdullah, president of Virginia State University and chair of the Council of 1890 Presidents. And new investments are needed to continue that mission.
“There are some really important questions of our current time that I think HBCUs can help tackle with the proper amount of investment from the federal government -- climate change, criminal justice reform, broadband access,” Abdullah said. “Our 1890 HBCUs are uniquely positioned to be able to help solve some of the problems of the nation, but through some historic underfunding, our infrastructure isn't where our talent is. If we can invest in our infrastructure, we can bring our talent to the equation and provide solutions to the nation.”