Last week, national media outlets including Essence and Black Enterprise reported on a new bill unveiled by Congressman David Scott (GA-13), chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, to authorize $100 million in additional, permanent funding for student scholarships at 1890 Land Grant HBCUs.
The outlets’ reporting on the bill introduction follows a full Committee hearing last month featuring all nineteen 1890 HBCU presidents urging Congress to extend the initial $80 million in temporary scholarship funding for the institutions allotted in the 2018 Farm Bill.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
ESSENCE: Bill Unveiled to Establish Permanent Scholarship Programs at Select HBCUs
Congressman David Scott (D-GA) has introduced legislation in the House of Representatives aimed at permanently increasing scholarship monies for students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), specifically those who attend 1890 Land Grant institutions.
During the Civil War, the Morrill Land Grant College Act of 1862 set aside federal lands to create colleges to “benefit the agricultural and mechanical arts.” The Second Morrill Act of 1890 provided each state with annual funds to support these schools. It required states with racially segregated public higher education systems to provide a land-grant institution for Black students whenever a land-grant institution was established exclusively for white students.
The bill, H.R.4252, would provide additional funding for scholarships to students at 1890 institutions.
“Just weeks ago, we in Congress heard directly from each of the nineteen presidents of the 1890 Land Grant African American Colleges and Universities,” Scott, chairman of the House Agriculture Committee shared with ESSENCE. “The college presidents shared with [us] how greatly beneficial, how much needed, and how grateful and thankful they are with the initial $80 million that started up our student scholarship program through the 2018 Farm Bill. And, they emphasized how important it is that we continue this great student scholarship program on an ongoing, permanent basis.”
Several members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) are among the original co-sponsors of the measure. They include: CBC Chair Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-OH); Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-GA); Rep. Alma Adams (D-NC); Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO), Rep. Stacey Plaskett (D-VI); and Rep. Jahana Hayes (D-CT).
BLACK ENTERPRISE: Congressman David Scott Introduces Legislation Making Scholarships for 1890s Land Grant Colleges Permanent
House Agriculture Committee Chairman and Georgia Congressman David Scott has introduced legislation to make scholarships for 1890s Land Grant Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).
Leaders from the 19 Land Grant HBCUs laid out to Congress how a fresh infusion of funding provided by Congress will help educate and train the next generation of agriculture workers. Scott said the testimony will help members of the committee work to make the $80 million scholarship program permanent.
Currently the funding for scholarships for 1890 Land grant HBCUs are reauthorized through the farm bill every five years. 1890 Land Grant HBCUs span 18 states and were designated land grant schools under the Morrill Act of 1890.
Virginia State University President Dr. Makola Abdullah said the scholarships have allowed for generation students to earn a degree in the agriculture industry without taking out student loans.
“This program has allowed us to recruit and train the next generation of agricultural leaders who will continue to keep our food supply chain safe,” Abdullah said.