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NPR: How to Repair HBCU Infrastructure
Senators Warnock (D-GA) and Coons (D-DE) talk about their proposal to upgrade the infrastructure of Historically Black Colleges and Universities
There are roughly a hundred historically Black colleges and universities in the U.S. And if you pool all their endowments together, the total is just $4 billion. To compare, the endowment of New York University alone is nearly $5 billion. This disparity in educational funding has real-world consequences and is starting to show in the aging infrastructure of HBCUs across the country.
WARNOCK: There was a recent survey of some 79 HBCUs, and 70 of those HBCUs reported that more than 40% of their building space needed repair or complete replacement. And this is why I'm proud to co-sponsor the IGNITE HBCU Excellence Act that will give schools, like Morehouse and Fort Valley down in Fort Valley, Ga., and Savannah State and Spelman College, Clark Atlanta University - all of these schools an opportunity to renovate their campuses, to provide access to campus-wide, reliable, high-speed broadband. Can you imagine an institution of higher learning in the 21st century on the wrong side of the digital divide?
COONS: As this package gets slimmed down because of the more modest ambition of some of our colleagues, we are going to fight tirelessly to make sure that there are robust resources for HBCU infrastructure in this bill. As it moves from maybe $3.5 trillion to $2 trillion over 10 years, the thing that we need to focus on is the policy priorities. And as Reverend Warnock just said, HBCUs have, for decades and decades, been a pathway towards opportunity, a critical investment in equity in our country.