In a show of bipartisan support for an HBCU investment bill, Sen. Tim Scott and Rep. Alma Adams penned an op-ed published by The Hill on Thursday (May 6).
“A good investment has many characteristics: low risk, high returns, appreciation over time, and positive externalities,” the lawmakers wrote.
“We believe that our bill, the IGNITE HBCU Excellence Act, represents that kind of opportunity for both our Historically Black Colleges and Universities and the American people.”
The lawmakers said the Act “will be one of the most transformative pieces of legislation for Historically Black Colleges and Universities in history.”
Scott, the only Black Republican serving in the Senate currently, and Adams, a Democratic representative of North Carolina, added that both of them have “championed HBCUs” during their time in Congress.
During the last Congress, two HBCU-related bills were signed by the president, the FUTURE Act and the HBCU Partners Act. This latest act, Scott and Adams, who is a graduate of North Carolina A&T University, said, is to “renovate, modernize, or construct new campus facilities,” for HBCUs across the country.
The Act “funds infrastructure for community-based partnerships that provide students and community members with academic, health, and public services,” they wrote.
The funds from the Act would also go towards securing technology for HBCUs to continue producing 27 percent of Black Americans who hold a bachelor’s degree in STEM fields.
In addition to awarding more than 17 percent of all bachelor’s degrees earned by Black Americans, 60 percent of HBCUs students are first generation or low income students. “But more importantly,” Scott and Adams wrote, “HBCUs outperform their peers in supporting and graduating these students.”
With the investment of the Act, the two say the contribution of HBCUs to its students and communities will only increase.
“The IGNITE HBCU Excellence Act is the right investment at the right time to make sure these institutions continue on the path to greatness,” they said.
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