President Joe Biden released his 2023 Fiscal Year Budget on Monday. One of the main highlights of the budget was the significant funds that were allocated to fund historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs).
The proposed funding amount has received a lot of support in the HBCU community over the last two days. Leaders from prominent Black and HBCU centered organizations are applauding President Biden for his commitment to HBCUs.
Now they are putting pressure on Congress to make sure this allotment of money for HBCUs is passed.
“For the second year in a row, President Biden has asked that the Department of Education dedicated funding to HBCUs is well funded,” said Lodriguez V. Murray, UNCF senior vice president for public policy and government affairs according to Yahoo. “Earlier this month when Congress passed its FY 2022 appropriations bills, many HBCU and UNCF priorities were increased, but Congress did not meet President Biden’s aspirational increases. We were on the path to finally receiving our long-due and proper level of Education funding last year; and despite the congressional increase we did receive, we did not meet the mark in President Biden’s budget for FY 2022. We are asking Congress to make no reductions but live up to the President’s funding numbers this year. Our institutions deserve it, and so do our students.”
It’s clear that the reductions in the 2022 Fiscal Year budget left a sour taste in the mouth of some and they are determined to try to change that outcome moving forward.
“The administration is calling for the HBCU funding which all 100-plus HBCUs share to be increased by $65 million to finally meet the authorized level of funding,” Murray continued. “This is UNCF’s top priority. Additionally, the request for the Pell Grant to be increased by $2,000 in the upcoming year is nothing short of landmark. If Congress follows through on President Biden’s UNCF supported request, it would be the largest single-year increase to the Pell Grant, put us on course to double the Pell Grant this decade, and be one of the biggest game-changers for low to moderate-income students in our country in modern times.”
Michael L. Lomax, the President, and CEO of UNCF followed the same tune as Murray and emphasized the importance of these resources and funding for these institutions that have been pivotal in shaping American history.
“I call on every congressional leader who values education to take every single investment proposed by the president and make sure it is included in the final law, “ said Lomax. “These investments are needed, and it is past time they should be signed into statute.”