65 HBCU Leaders Write Joint Letter Asking Senate to Pass Build Back Better Bill

Sixty-five HBCU presidents and chancellors wrote a joint letter to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell asking for their support in passing the Build Back Better legislation. Citing historic investments in HBCUs and other institutions serving students of color, the group warned of the “unsustainable” trend of increasing financial inequity.

According to the group, passing the Build Back Better legislation would alleviate some of that burden.

Build Back Better invests $10 billion for HBCUs, HSIs, and MSIs to build greater institutional capacity. This funding includes an unprecedented $6 billion increase in the mandatory programs at the Department of Education under Titles III and V – a five-fold increase from amounts that our institutions have received annually through these funding streams. Another $4 billion is provided for research and infrastructure development through competitive program grants – $3 billion from the Department of Education and $1 billion from the Department of Agriculture will become available for HBCUs to compete against like institutions.

Letter signatories include Dr. David Wilson from Morgan State University, Dr. Kimberly Ballard-Washington from Savannah State University, Dr. Suzanne Walsh of Bennett College, and Dr. Harold Martin from North Carolina A&T State University.

Dr. Tony Allen, chair of the President’s Board of Advisors on HBCUs, spoke with NewsOne about the proposed legislation and the positive impact on HBCUs.  

“The quality of instruction and training at HBCUs is on par with other institutions I’ve seen,” Allen said. “In fact, I think our secret sauce is a special care that we take with our students. Having said that, we want our institutions and our footprint to look like the quality of that instruction and service to our students.”

Allen says the Build Back Better plan provisions are a “down payment” on the continued work of HBCUs.  

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SOURCE: NewsOne, Anoa Changa