There’s a Bike Caucus
There’s a Tea Party Caucus.
There’s a Chicken Caucus.
Now, finally, thanks to new Black Caucus member Rep. Alma Adams (D-NC) and Alabama Republican Bradley Byrne, there will be a Congressional Caucus focused on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). The HBCU Caucus will be formally announced this Tuesday.
The HBCU Caucus already has 28 members. That number is certain to get much larger.
The need to focus specific attention on issues impacting HBCUs comes at an important and crucial time. Why? Because the Obama Administration has been a disaster for HBCUs. Currently several institutions are fighting for survival.
A list of issues regarding HBCUs during the Obama Administration to date:
1. The 2012 cut of Summer Pell Grants. read here
2. Cutting $80 million from HBCU funding in 2009 that then had to be replaced by House Democrats led by Education Committee Chair George Miller.
3. The 2011 Parent PLUS Loan change that cost HBCUs over $150 million collectively and interrupted the educations of over 25,000 HBCU students. read here
4. President Obama’s plan to grant two years of free community college. The plan was announced without consulting HBCU advocates beforehand as well as the President’s Chair on HBCUs, Dr. William Harvey of Hampton University. read here The community college plan prompted journalist George Curry to write a part 1 and part 2 column for NNPA called Is Obama Trying to Kill HBCUs?
5. To the shock of many members of the Black Caucus at a February meeting with President Obama, the President reportedly informed member he wasn’t interested in assisting HBCUs, citing low graduation rates.
President Obama’s very own Chairman of his Advisory Board on HBCUs has lit the Administration’s policies up in several times and in public. Dr. William Harvey recently said he was “disappointed and saddened” about the situation regarding HBCUs.
[A new report released a week ago illustrated the damage of the Parent PLUS Loan change to HBCU students. That report can be seen here: http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/edlabs/projects/project.asp?projectID=441]
The press release announcing the new HBCU Caucus is below.
TUESDAY: MEMBERS OF CONGRESS TO LAUNCH FIRST EVER BIPARTISAN CONGRESSIONAL HBCU CAUCUS
Bipartisan Co-Chairs Reps. Adams & Byrne to Host Launch Event & Panel Discussion
Washington, D.C. – On Tuesday, April 28th at 5PM, Reps. Alma S. Adams (D-NC12) and Bradley Byrne (R-AL1) will launch the first ever Bipartisan Congressional Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Caucus. The launch event will feature a discussion with Reps. Adams, Byrne and other Members of Congress who are part of the caucus. The Members will discuss the purpose of the caucus, the importance of HBCUs, their experiences with HBCUs, and the current challenges HBCUs face. The event will be moderated by Johnny C. Taylor, President and CEO of Thurgood Marshall College Fund; and representatives from the United Negro College Fund will join in on the discussion.
The Bipartisan Congressional HBCU Caucus’ mission is to highlight and address unique challenges that HBCUs face as well as to make sure their needs are heard and recognized on Capitol Hill. There are currently 28 members of the Bipartisan HBCU Caucus.
Reps. Adams and Byrne both have education backgrounds and are members of the House Education and the Workforce Committee. Rep. Adams is a former professor and Rep. Byrne is a former Chancellor of the Alabama Community College System. There are more than 100 HBCUs in the United States.
When: Tuesday, April 28, 2015 at 5PM
Where: Rayburn House Office Building, Room B354, Washington, D.C. 20515
Who: Congresswoman Alma Adams (D-NC12) & Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-AL1) Members of Congress, Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., President and CEO of Thurgood Marshall College Fund, Representatives from United Negro College Fund