UNCF Applauds Bipartisan Effort as Great First Step for HBCUs
On Feb. 12, the US Senate passed S.461, the HBCU Propelling Agency Relationships Towards a New Era of Results for Students (PARTNERS) Act, by voice vote. This bill, led by Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) and Senator Chris Coons (D-DE), codifies Executive Order 13779, which seeks to require only agencies that regularly interact with historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) to submit an agency plan to both the Secretary of Education and the Executive Director of the White House Initiative on HBCUs regarding efforts to strengthen the capacity of HBCUs to participate in relevant Federal programs and initiatives.
“I applaud both Senators Tim Scott and Chris Coons for taking this much needed first step in codifying Executive Order 13779,” said Lodriguez V. Murray, vice president of public policy and government affairs at UNCF. “While this piece of legislation expresses congressional intent that federal agencies seek creative ways to bolster their support of HBCUs, I want to ensure that all federal agencies are held to this standard and believe that Congress can still work to ensure this desire becomes a reality. UNCF believes in complete transparency throughout the federal government, especially when it comes to the support of our HBCUs.”
The HBCU PARTNERS Act also codifies the role of the President’s Board of Advisors, which advises the President of the United States on all matters pertaining to strengthening the educational capacity of HBCUs. This bill is cosponsored by 15 bipartisan Senators and a companion bill, H.R. 1054, was introduced by Representatives Alma Adams (D-NC) and Mark Walker (R-NC) in the House of Representatives on Feb. 7.
UNCF (United Negro College Fund) is the nation’s largest and most effective minority education organization. To serve youth, the community and the nation, UNCF supports students’ education and development through scholarships and other programs, strengthens its 37 member colleges and universities, and advocates for the importance of minority education and college readiness. UNCF institutions and other historically black colleges and universities are highly effective, awarding nearly 20 percent of African American baccalaureate degrees. UNCF awards more than $100 million in scholarships annually and administers more than 400 programs, including scholarship, internship and fellowship, mentoring, summer enrichment, and curriculum and faculty development programs. Its logo features the UNCF torch of leadership in education and its widely recognized motto, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste, but a wonderful thing to invest in.”® Today, UNCF supports more than 60,000 students at more than 1,100 colleges and universities. Learn more at UNCF.org or for continuous news and updates, follow UNCF on Twitter @UNCF.