Our new Marketplace Crash Course is here to help. Sign-up for free, learn at your own pace.
Black college leaders say Trump administration hasn’t made good on its promises to HBCUs
Share Now on:
In the early days of his administration, President Donald Trump signed an executive order to strengthen the country’s more than 100 historically black colleges and universities.
“With this executive order, we will make HBCUs a priority of the White House, an absolute priority,” Trump said.
Michael Lomax was there. He’s president of the United Negro College Fund, which represents 37 HBCUs.
Since that February meeting, Lomax said: “The administration and the Department of Education, in our estimation, just have not really taken any substantive actions to demonstrate their commitment.”
The United Negro College Fund has joined the Thurgood Marshall College Fund and the Congressional HBCU Caucus in asking the administration to postpone an annual conference for HBCUs planned for next month.
Lomax said members have been frustrated that the White House has yet to name a director or board of advisers to oversee its initiative on HBCUs. Then came Charlottesville, and Trump’s comments that “many sides” were to blame for the violence.
“I think they were a tipping point,” Lomax said.
Lezli Baskerville, president of the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education, said while the Trump administration maintained funding for HBCUs in its budget, it proposed cuts to other programs that help low-income students.
“If you cut off all of those pipeline institutions, our institutions will not have students to enroll and graduate,” Baskerville said.
In a briefing Thursday, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters the conference will go on as scheduled and is fully booked.
|Recruiters often overlook historically black colleges and universities|
|Black teachers can lower dropout rates, researchers say|
|Education Department learns how to downside as threat of budget cuts looms|
There’s a lot happening in the world. Through it all, Marketplace is here for you.
You rely on Marketplace to break down the world’s events and tell you how it affects you in a fact-based, approachable way. We rely on your financial support to keep making that possible.
Your donation today powers the independent journalism that you rely on. For just $5/month, you can help sustain Marketplace so we can keep reporting on the things that matter to you.