Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Washington UPDATE: CBC Priorities Include Education Grants

Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Washington UPDATE: CBC Priorities Include Education Grants

Article excerpt

Washington UPDATE: CBC Priorities Include Education Grants

Funds to rebuild public schools and increase access to technology are among the legislative priorities for the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) this year.

CBC's newly released legislative proposals include an Education Development Block Grant that states could use for school infrastructure improvements. The legislation proposes $2 billion a year from 1998 through 2002, with schools allowed to borrow up to five times their block grant for additional repairs.

CBC said this proposal ultimately would provide $48 billion to rebuild K-12 schools -- nearly ten times the level of President Bill Clinton's $5 billion school construction initiative.

The caucus also proposes $20 million in 1997 and 1998 to create community computer centers in low-income areas which would "enhance the capability of many more people who cannot now access computer technology," according to Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), who chairs the CBC.

The U.S. Department of Commerce would administer the program, providing competitive grants to non-profit organizations to renovate vacant storefronts and turn them into computer centers. Local grantees would need a commitment of at least fifty up-to-date computers to gain funding.

Also on the agenda are plans to increase anti-drug funding for at-risk communities, create a small business development fund for minority-owned enterprises, and exempt grandparent caregivers from work requirements of last year's welfare-reform law. …

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