HBCU Advisory Board to Meet Today Over Continuing Denial of State Funding

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Pres. Biden's HBCU Advisory Board to meet
Pres. Biden's HBCU Advisory Board

The Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities will meet today to discuss the state of Florida’s continued denial of funding for Florida HBCUs (historically black colleges and universities). Senator Shevrin Jones (SD-34) will join President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris at the White House for a meeting of the board appointed by the President in 2022.

by Kevin Seraaj, Orlando Advocate

The Board regularly meets to develop and share its recommendations to strengthen HBCUs, with emphasis on institutional infrastructure, long-term planning, technology, research, streamlined tuition and financial assistance, and pathways for experiential learning. 

“This administration has delivered historic investments to HBCUs, boosting our economy and opportunity in the process,” Senator Jones, a graduate of Florida A&M University, said Monday. “These investments are critically important, particularly when the state plays games and denies schools the support they need and deserve. Since 1987, the state of Florida has denied nearly $2 billion to FAMU alone – it’s long past time that we address this injustice and ensure HBCUs get the resources they need. Our students’ and shared future depend on it because when we invest in people and communities, our country is that much stronger.”

Jones cited a finding in a letter the federal government sent out last week — from U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona and U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack — to Gov. Ron DeSantis and 15 other Governors. The letter made mention of the general underfunding of land grant Black institutions as compared to their non-HBCU, land grant counterparts, and urged the Governors to step up.

Florida is a significant malfeasor. The feds found Jones’ alma mater, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (AMU), has been shorted nearly $2 billion in state funding since 1987 compared to funding given to the University of Florida.

“It’s long past time that we address this injustice and ensure HBCUs get the resources they need,” Jones said in a prepared statement. “Our students’ and shared future depend on it because when we invest in people and communities, our country is that much stronger.”