Obama boosts funds for historically black colleges

WASHINGTON — The leaders of the nation’s historically black colleges and universities breathed a sigh of relief this week when they learned that President Barack Obama’s fiscal 2011 budget includes a $30 million funding increase for their financially struggling schools.

Last year, many black educators were shocked by what they considered to be substantial cuts to black colleges and other educational institutions dedicated to select minorities, such as Native Americans, in Obama’s first budget proposal.


“The United Negro College Fund and the entire community of minority-serving institutions were disappointed at last year’s budget proposal, which recommended a decrease from previous funding levels,” fund President Michael Lomax said in a written statement analyzing Obama’s latest budget. “The increase — $30 million higher than last year’s levels — proposed in the budget that has just been released shows that the administration was listening.”

For the fiscal year that will begin on Oct. 1, Obama proposes $279.9 million for historically black colleges and universities — $30 million more than he proposed for fiscal 2010 and $13 million more than Congress appropriated, according to the United Negro College Fund. Including other minority-oriented educational institutions, Obama’s total budget request is for $520 million, up from $496.3 million this year.

The proposed funds are discretionary, meaning that colleges that receive the money would have leeway to spend it on items ranging from academic programs to construction and maintenance of instructional facilities to student services.

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  • James Mahomes

    Reply Reply February 5, 2010

    This is great. I would strongly suggest that the President send these funds directly to the Institutions. Sending it to the State or any other distribution center would delay its arrival, indefinitely. I am sure that Our Leaders here at Southern University will accept and spend it wisely.
    Thank you, Mr. President!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Isis Harris

    Reply Reply February 10, 2010

    I am in agree with James Mahomes this additional funding should be sent directly to the HBCUs or to the United Negro College Fund other wise it will be well intention but poorly managed!!! Being part of the (Black Ivy League Family) I support endeavors that further our traditions..The next generation of students should have options PWIs are nice but HBCUs provide a different world where one is not only academic develop but in the words of Denzel Washington in the Great Debators is “given the tools to obtain and maintain their “Righteous Mind”..

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