damn, last month the Obama boys designated several HBCU’s as hotbeds for terrorist recruitment and now this. Lets see what excuse the loyalists come up for this.
Historically black college leaders are ready to fight the Obama administration’s decision to cut what school officials call a “financial lifeline,” at time of economic difficulties for the universities and their students.
In 2007, the student loan laws were reformed and black institutions were extended an extra $85 million in federal funds. The two-year old program was only meant to be temporary and provided monies directly to federally recognized HBCU’s. However, when the Obama administration revealed its new education budget last week, the $85 million was not included.
Education Department officials stressed the notion that other parts of the budget will counteract the cuts, specifically the proposed increase in the maximum Pell Grant for low-income students by $200 to $5,550, reports the Associated Press.The HBCU program was unique because most educational federal funding is dispersed to the students, not the institution itself. Still, the cut could suggest that even though the administration supports education spending increases focused on low-income and minority students, direct support for institutions is not of high priority.
“The administration is definitely committed to strengthening HBCUs and other colleges and universities that serve minority populations,” said Carmel Martin, assistant secretary of education. “And one of the best ways we can do that is by supporting our students.”
According to an Associated Press Analysis, HBCUs have nearly 132,000 students receiving Pell grants enrolled. Even if all students got the maximum $200 Pell Grant increase, that would provide HBCUs new revenue totaling only about one-third of the funding cut outlined in the budget. However, HBCU leaders don’t agree with the timing of the cuts, mainly because the universities have suffered greatly as a result of the recession.
Education Department officials said the additional $85 million program was known to be temporary, and HBCUs should not have relied on the continuation of funds.
Ultimately, higher education officials believe Congress will not allow the funding to falter. Senior Vice President of the American Council on Education, Terry Halter, said HBCUs have solid support in both parties and both houses of Congress.
“To see the federal support decline significantly would have a real, substantial impact on the institutions right away,” Hartle said. “A lot of the philanthropic support is not as available as it was two years ago. They can’t raise tuition.”