U.S. House Education Chairs Celebrate Major Victory for HBCUs

discharge of $1.6 billion in capital finance debt for Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
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Photo: Twitter

House Education and Labor Committee Chairman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03) and HBCU Caucus Founder and Co-Chair Alma Adams released the following statement after the Department of Education announced the discharge of $1.6 billion in capital finance debt for Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

This action was made possible by Congress through the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA), which was signed into law in December 2020.

“Historically Black Colleges and Universities are essential to expanding access to high-quality higher education, but they continue to face severe financial challenges that have been made worse by the pandemic. Underfunding of HBCUs has quite literally eroded these institutions. In fact, a 2018 GAO report found that nearly half of HBCU facilities need to be repaired or replaced.

“As a result of extensive bipartisan negotiations, we secured a provision in the December funding package that allowed the Education Department to discharge more than $1 billion in capital finance debt that HBCUs received to address urgent campus infrastructure needs. Today’s announcement will free institutions to focus their resources on supporting students and staff during this difficult time. This is a major victory for HBCUs and their students.

“We look forward to working with our colleagues to ensure HBCUs can continue to fulfill and expand their pivotal role in helping students reach their potential. HBCUs are essential infrastructure.”

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