Saving Health Care Reform has put at least 2 billion dollars in federal funding for Historically Black Colleges and Universities in jeopardy. The proposed trade off to fund reform was to shave 850 million dollars annually for HBCU’s over 10 years plus the Title III monies for infrastructure, research and other programs.
Leslie, Baskerville, the President of the of the National Association for Equal Opportunity for Higher Ed received calls Wednesday night from two members of the congressional leadership participating in a reconciliation meeting. They conveyed the impending threat to the HBCU federal funding. Baskerville is trying to prevent the trade off from happening again, saying HBCU’s are a promoter for Health Care as the institutions educate “70% of African American health care professionals training today.”
Ohio congresswoman Marcia Fudge heard the money was put back Monday into its original funding slot. Other Hill sources also, contend the funding for HBCU’s is there for the 105 schools.
Congresswoman Fudge represents a state with two Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Wilberforce and Central State. Congresswoman Fudge is upset HBCU’s were even put in this position, “that’s the whole purpose of putting the Education Bill there in the first place, as a part of reconciliation, because the Education Bill saves some 87 billion dollars, which was needed to partially fund the health care bill.”
Fudge and other Hill lawmakers are receiving the bill today and will search to make sure HBCU’s are not part of the plan to pay for Health Care Reform. She contends if HBCU funding has been traded off, “the bill [Health Care Reform] is certainly in danger of not passing.”
Last Week, Congressional Black Caucus members pressed President Obama for his support for HBCU’s. Obama is said to have stood with them in understanding the need to fund and preserve the schools.
In recent weeks, President Obama pronounced his dedication to HBCU’s as they contribute to the black middle class. He has placed 98 million dollars in his 2011 budget for the 105 schools.
Also, during the 2010 graduation session both President and Mrs. Obama will deliver commencement addresses at HBCU’s. The President delivers a message to Hampton’s graduating class and the First Lady is slated to deliver a commencement address at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.