U.S. Senators Chris Coons (D-DE) and Tim Scott (R-SC) have introduced legislation to strengthen partnerships between federal agencies and the country’s more than 100 historically Black colleges and universities.
The HBCU Propelling Agency Relationships Towards a New Era of Results for Students (PARTNERS) Act will require federal agencies with relevant grants and programs to undertake annual planning and coordinate their efforts to support and expand HBCU participation in those programs. It also requires that agencies track their progress toward past goals and share their plans with Congress. In addition, it codifies the President’s Board of Advisors on HBCUs, ensuring an ongoing avenue for the institutions’ priorities and policy concerns to be raised.
“HBCUs today continue their tradition of opening higher education to new generations of students,” Senator Coons said. “They educate 300,000 students across the country, 70 percent of whom receive Pell grants, and charge almost 30 percent less tuition that their peer institutions. I’m proud to make sure that federal agencies actively work to support HBCUs’ critical missions.”
“Our HBCUs have provided amazing opportunities for generations of students, and I am excited to introduce this bipartisan bill with my friend Senator Coons to help our HBCUs continue that tradition. The HBCU PARTNERS Act is a great step forward for these schools and their students,” said Senator Scott.