By: Kiara Hardin
In April, Joe Biden introduced the American Families Plan; a plan to investment in American kids, families, and economic future by “...growing the middle class (and) expanding the benefits of economic growth to all Americans…”. As part of his initial $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation proposal, Biden included $45 billion in new funding for historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and other higher education institutions that serve minorities.
Earlier this week social media erupted with news of the government potentially falling short on their promises to black, indigenous and people of color(BIPOC) yet again. The Associated Press reported that the latest iteration of the reconciliation bill includes only $2 billion that can go toward educational programs and infrastructure for Black colleges, and even that amount would be reduced to competitive grant funding rather than direct allocations. Basically putting HBCUs against each other in a fight for funding.
Let us take a pause and identify that the US has systematically implemented a "crab in a barrel" mentality in BIPOC communities since Columbus got off that boat.
Initially, the breakdown of cost looked like:
This, in addition to the $45 billion proposed in the American Jobs Plan, is supposed to enable America’s HBCUs to tackle long standing inequities in higher education.
However, you can not cut what never existed! According to Kevin Miller, an associate director for higher education at the Bipartisan Policy Center, "No final decisions have been made on the bill, but as it stands, HBCUs stand to gain funding, not experience a cut."
These were proposed funds in which the decision ultimately rests with the Democrats in the Congress who must agree on the final bill. Once approved it would then be signed into law by President Biden.
Do you think HBCU's will receive the money they deserve or will they have to fight to the finish?