President Donald Trump signed an executive order Tuesday aimed at signaling his commitment to historically black colleges and universities, saying that those schools will be “an absolute priority for this White House.”
HBCU presidents are hoping Congress will bolster Trump’s actions to strengthen the schools with dramatically increased funding in the upcoming federal budget. They are calling for $25 billion for infrastructure, college readiness, financial aid and other priorities. Under President Barack Obama’s administration, historically black colleges and universities received $4 billion over seven years.
“The next step is the budget. You cannot have mission without money,” Thurgood Marshall College Fund President Johnny Taylor told reporters outside the White House after the signing ceremony.
Many of the college presidents also went to Capitol Hill on Tuesday to lobby Congress for more funding. Taylor said the $25 billion is needed to make up for years of underfunding and would cover the country’s more than 100 HBCUs.