U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige announced that President George W. Bush's budget request for the Education Department will include more than $350 million for programs that will strengthen Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Historically Black Graduate Institutions (HBGIs) and Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs)-an increase of more than $12 million over current funding levels.
Paige described President Bush's commitment to meeting the needs of all of America's students-particularly students from minority and disadvantaged backgrounds-during his remarks at a citywide observance of the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in Washington, D.C.
Paige reflected upon the significance of President Bush's commitment to educating America's youth through the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, which he signed into law earlier this month. Nothing that his commitment extends beyond elementary and secondary schools to expanding higher education opportunities, Paige announced that President Bush will continue to support funding increases for programs that support higher education institutions serving large numbers of minority students and will ask Congress for more than $264 million in federal support for HBCUs and HBGIs for fiscal year 2003.
President Bush's budget request for fiscal year 2003 will also include a request for more than $89 million to support HSIs in order to help close the attainment gap between Hispanic students and their peers.
"To honor the legacy of Dr. King, we must continue to support the institutions that offer our minority and disadvantaged students opportunities through higher education," Paige said. "We have committed the resources we need to get that job done, and we will continue to work to make sure that every student in America can achieve, and no child is left behind."