Senate Bill Includes Small HBCU Increase
By Charles Dervarics
A Senate education spending bill for 2004 follows the Bush administration’s goal for a small increase for Black colleges and Hispanic-serving institutions next year.
The bill approved in committee would provide a $10 million increase for the main federal HBCU program, for total funding of $224 million. The White House and House of Representatives have recommended a similar increase. Funding for HBCU graduate institutions would remain at $53 million under the Senate plan.
Hispanic-serving institutions would receive $93.5 million from the Senate, up $1.2 million over current funding. The White House issued a similar proposal earlier this year.
Elsewhere, the Senate spending bill includes $840 million for TRIO programs, $13 million more
than current spending but $38 million above the White House request. GEAR UP programs that promote early college awareness would get $300 million, an increase of $7 million from 2003.
Another provision of the bill would freeze federal funding for Howard University at $238 million. However, this figure is $1 million above the White House plan. As expected, the bill would not increase the maximum Pell Grant for needy students. The top grant would remain at $4,050 under the Senate bill. College work/study funding also would be frozen at $1 billion. Also unchanged from 2003 are Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants and Perkins Loans contributions, funded at $760 million and $99 million, respectively.
The bill, S. 1356, has gained approval from the Senate Appropriations Committee and now is headed to the Senate floor.
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