Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Bush Budget Projects Small HBCU Increase: New Funding Still Falls Short of Amount Proposed by Black College Leaders. (Washington Update)

Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Bush Budget Projects Small HBCU Increase: New Funding Still Falls Short of Amount Proposed by Black College Leaders. (Washington Update)

Article excerpt

President Bush soon will propose more funding for historically Black colleges and universities for 2003, but the increase will remain below the recommendations of HBCU advocates.

The president's fiscal 2003 education budget will include an extra $10 million for HBCUs and HBCU graduate institutions. Offering the proposal on the long weekend commemorating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday, both Bush and Education Secretary Dr. Roderick Paige cited the proposal among several new initiatives to honor King's legacy.

"To honor the legacy of Dr. King, we must continue to support the institutions that offer our minority and disadvantaged students opportunities through higher education," said Paige, who is a former dean of a Black college.

The budget plan has a 3.6 percent increase for HBCUs, including an additional $7.4 million for undergraduate education and $1.8 million for HBCU graduate institutions. If enacted into law, the plan would provide $214 million for the main HBCU program and $50 million for graduate programs.

According to the White House, such funding levels would ensure that HBCUs would receive an average award of $2 million for undergraduate programs. There are fewer HBCU graduate institutions eligible for funds, but the increase would ensure average per-school funding of nearly $3 million.

Bush made the formal announcement as he also proposed $1 billion increases for two core federal programs: Title I education of disadvantaged children and state grants to strengthen special education services.

Together, these three educational initiatives reflect King's goals. "We must have high expectations for children who are more difficult to teach or who have fallen behind," Bush said.

At least for HBCUs, however, the projected budget -- scheduled for release early this month -- still falls short of recommendations made by Black college leaders last year. …

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