“All 106 HBCU’s are in need,” Cooper said.
With some black colleges potentially facing extinction in the near future, it’s unconscionable that Republicans want to slash funding to institutions that account for 1.5 percent of associate degrees; 17 percent of bachelor degrees; 7 percent of master’s degrees and 8 percent of doctoral degrees for African Americans.
Last month, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan talked about the epic challenges facing the nation’s historically black colleges.
“We have a lot of hard work ahead of us,” Duncan told seven African American journalists who gathered for a breakfast briefing last month specifically about HBCU’s. “We have a Congress that is very, very tough. Every time I go to Congress, I hear cut, cut…and cut back, and that’s the challenge we’re facing.”
“We’re at a fork in the road, a real crossroads,” Duncan added. “The question for our country is whether we view education as an investment or do we view it as an expense.”
So here’s what the Obama administration says it’s doing, in part, to offer continued support for HBCU’s:
- A 40 percent increase in federal funds from the Department of Education to HBCU’s since 2007. The support includes increased Pell Grant funding to help an additional 200,000 black students and $850 million in additional mandatory funding for HBCU’s.
- The Obama administration’s funding for HBCU’s increased from $3 billion in 2007 to $4 billion in 2012.
- Ongoing technical support for HBCU’s
Meanwhile, Bluefield State College, as NPR put it, is the whitest HBCU in America and Antonio Bolden’s grammatically-challenged question about the West Virginia school remains an important subject for debate: “Where all the black people at?”