President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden participate in the final presidential debate at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, on Thursday, October 22, 2020. Photo courtesy: Chip Somodevilla/Tribune News Service

Presidential candidates discuss plans for HBCU’s in their campaigns

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November’s presidential election contains five candidates on the ballot who will bring different perspectives on how to address the needs of HBCUs and education for years to come. 

Each candidate’s views for HBCUs and education are different. From former Vice President Joe Biden’s proposal to spend over $70 billion to help upgrade HBCUs, to Libertarian Party candidate Jo Jorgensen’s proposal to end the Department of Education. 

The Campus Echo reached out to all five parties and campaigns to request interviews with the candidates or their representatives but could not arrange interviews. 

In researching the candidates’ campaign websites, one candidate addressed his plans for HBCUs, one spoke of his promises kept for HBCUs, another did not give any information on either education or HBCUs and two spoke on education but did not specify plans for HBCUs. 

Former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign aims to not only help HBCUs but also tribal colleges and universities along with minority-serving institutions.

 “Build the high-tech labs and facilities and digital infrastructure needed for learning, research, and innovation at HBCUs, TCUs, and MSIs,” according to a written statement on his website.

In Biden’s proposal, he plans to help these under-resourced institutions to become more affordable by investing $18 billion in grants, $10 billion to create at least 200 new centers of research incubators, and connect students in underrepresented fields of study with more career opportunities. 

 He also plans to invest $20 billion in infrastructure to build physical research facilities and labs urgently needed to deliver on the country’s research and development. 

Issues that plague HBCUs are retention rates, enrollment rates, completion rates, and employment.

Biden promises to help in those areas by investing $10 billion in programs that partner with high schools, universities, and employers to provide evidence-based remedial courses and academic and career advising services. 

Biden also plans on expanding the career pathways for teachers of HBCUs, TCUs, and MSIs. He proposes to invest in $5 billion graduate school programs in teaching, healthcare, and Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.

He aims to “develop robust internship and career pipelines at major research agencies” at these three institutions, according to a statement on his website.

Some of those agencies include the Department of Energy National Laboratories, National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, and the Department of Defense.” according to a statement on Biden’s website.

 Biden’s running mate, Jorgensen has information on her website about education, but she failed to mention her plans on HBCUs.

One of the areas that are “viewed” as important in Jorgensen campaign is higher education, which includes the federal government and the student loan debt crisis.

According to her website, the federal government is the sole reason for the student debt crisis where they “spend billions of dollars and colludes with wealthy colleges to guarantee students will pay any price.” 

“In the last forty years, college tuition and fees have gone up at least three times the rate of inflation,” said a statement on her website.

Student loan debt is the biggest debt in the United States compared to housing. Jorgensen pledges to work with Congress so that student debt like any other debt, can be renegotiated through bankruptcy.

Howie Hawkins of the Green Party did not have information about HBCUs or education on his website. 

Constitution Party candidate Don Blankenship discussed education but has also not addressed HBCUs in his campaign.

According to his website, all decisions regarding education should be left in the hands of the parents and uses the constitution as a reason the federal government does not have power over education. 

President Trump discussed his prior accomplishments and contributions to HBCUs, but he has not mentioned those plans going forward if he is re-elected for his second term.

‘The department of education worked with HBCUs to protect $80 million in Title III carryover funding,” his campaign website says.

According to a statement on Trump’s website,  he has ” appropriated more money than any other president.”

His accomplishments toward HBCUs are listed by date on his website.

 

 

 

 

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