A new bill aimed at helping historically Black colleges and universities get a fair share of government contracts and grants has been passed by the House of Representatives by a vote of 388-6.
The PARTNERS (Propelling Agency Relationships Towards a New Era of Results for Students) Act, sanctioned by President Donald Trump, also requires agencies that regularly interact with HBCUs to submit an agency plan that will provide technical assistance and information to enhance communication with the schools as well as applications for grants, contracts, or cooperative agreements, according to a Journal of Blacks in Higher Education report.
UNCF, the nation’s largest minority education organization, lauded the bill.
“Codifying Executive Order 13779 is an essential first piece of the puzzle to make sure HBCUs receive the funding necessary to be whole,” said Lodriguez Murray, UNCF senior vice president of public policy and government affairs. “When I think about what we as African Americans have experienced this year, with the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 as well as the undisputed showcase of racial inequity, we can only be bold in our asks. HBCUs can no longer wait.”