Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

House Approves 2003 Budget Plan

Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

House Approves 2003 Budget Plan

Article excerpt

The full House of Representatives approved a 2003 budget plan with a small increase for minority-serving colleges after brushing back efforts to add more money for Pell Grants to the plan.

The 221-209 vote was largely along party lines, as Republicans endorsed the budget blueprint while Democrats called it insufficient to meet educational needs. Before the vote, the House Budget Committee defeated a plan to include in the budget a $500 increase in the maximum Pell Grant. The White House plan would keep Pell at the current $4,000 maximum.

The Alliance for Student Aid, an organization representing many higher education associations, is pushing for a $500 increase in the maximum Pell Grant next year.

While Republican leaders praised the budget for including a 3.6 percent increase for Black colleges and Hispanic-serving institutions as well as for providing a small increase for Head Start and several other programs, some Congressional Black Caucus members called the overall numbers inadequate to improve education.

"It can hardly be called a budget -- that implies some logic and order to the document," says Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif. "Republicans have filled this budget with `fuzzy math' in order to say that it is balanced and fair. …

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