ICYMI: Ranking Member Scott Addresses Funding Disparities at 1890 Land Grant Universities
“This ongoing lack of funding negatively impacts institutions’ ability to invest in advanced research technology, academic instruction, and community programs.”
WASHINGTON – Last week, Ranking Member Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03) hosted a briefing with experts on the state of funding for 1890 land-grant Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), which remains inequitable largely due to state underfunding, and the impact these institutions have on Black students and agriculture advancements.
Watch Ranking Member Scott’s remarks on YouTube.
Ranking Member Scott delivered the following remarks during the briefing:
“The first Morrill Act of 1862 created a national system of land-grant colleges and universities focused on teaching agriculture and mechanical arts. The second Morrill Act of 1890 established nineteen new Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and prohibited any form of racial discrimination in admissions at those institutions.
“Since their creation, these HBCUs have educated a diverse population of students who have historically been unable to access higher education.
“Through the three pillars of research, teaching, and extension, these land-grant HBCUs provide high-quality education to students and create groundbreaking research that supports rural communities.
“Consequently, the funding established to support these HBCUs through the Department of Agriculture is designed to uphold and promote these principles.
“Yet, as decades passed, sixteen of the nineteen land-grant HBCUs have consistently been funded at lower levels than the original land-grant institutions. This is due in large part to the lack of matching funds provided by states to land-grant HBCUs.
“These matching funds are necessary for the schools to receive certain federal grants. This ongoing lack of funding negatively impacts institutions’ ability to invest in advanced research technology, academic instruction, and community programs.
“So, to raise awareness of this issue, I joined Democrat and Republican colleagues to call on State legislatures and governors to equitably fund land-grant HBCUs. And, recently, the Secretary of Education, Miguel Cardona, and the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Thomas Vilsack, also sent letters to each governor presiding over states in which land-grant HBCU underfunding continues. These letters urged government officials to prioritize addressing the collective $13.1 billion funding gap from 1987 to 2020 that affects the advancement of land-grant HBCUs.
“So, we are here today to help Members of Congress and their staff have a clear understanding of the overarching impact this issue will continue to have on equitable access to education in the Black community.”
Read the slides from the briefing here.
Democratic Press Office, 202-226-0853
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