Bush’s plan cuts black college fund

By: - February 18, 2008 8:05 am

 News & Record file
N.C. A&T used this year’s $4.9 million allocation to hire counselors to help improve student retention and graduation rates.

A federal program to improve black colleges and universities would be cut back to 2005 levels.

By Amanda Lehmert
Staff Writer

President Bush's 2009 education budget proposal cuts $85 million in funds designated for historically black colleges and universities — money that local leaders say is crucial to improving the traditionally underfunded schools.

Should this funding program for historically black colleges and universities be cut? Join the discussion at the Debatables blog.

Bush's budget proposal essentially deletes an increase for those schools provided by the 2007 College Cost Reduction Act in September. That was the first increase in funding the Department of Education's Strengthening Historically Black Colleges and Universities program has received since 2005.

Higher education leaders said they will wait out the legislative process to see how the schools fare once the budget moves through the Democrat-controlled Congress. They wonder what the cut could mean for the grant program's future.

"The HBCU community, it's safe to say, they would be disappointed but not necessarily surprised," said Edith Bartley, director of government affairs at the United Negro College Fund.

North Carolina's 10 HBCUs received a combined $27.7 million from the program last year. The program brought about $6.5 million of that to Greensboro colleges. (more…)

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