Virginia Governor proposes gamechanging HBCU funding

Governor Ralph Northam is spotlighting Virginia’s HBCUs during his ‘Thank You, Virginia’ tour. This tour includes a proposal to give funding to HBCUs in Virginia, which have been historically underfunded. “We are closing the funding gap and making college more accessible to all Virginians” Northam stated.

The total proposed to give to Virginia’s HBCU’s is $297 million. Virginia Union and Hampton University will receive $10 million, Norfolk State will receive $164 million, and Virginia State will receive $113 million. Norfolk State and Virginia State will receive $277 million altogether, funding meant for operations and construction at the colleges.

Additionally, $20 million in 2023 and 2024 will be given to Norfolk State and Virginia State University. The goal is to make these schools more affordable for students. Northam is not new to supporting HBCUs. In 2019 he gave $300 million in funding to Norfolk State and Virginia State University.

Northam is also calling for an increase in the Tuition Assistance Grant Program. This will give students $5,000 instead of $4,000 per year. In 2019 Northam raised the TAG program from $3,400 to $4,000 per student. If accepted, this new proposal will increase TAG funding by 50% under Northam’s term. Secretary of Education Frances Bradford weighed in on Northam’s decision, stating “HBCUs are a critical asset to Virginia’s higher education system and this funding will be game-changing for these institutions.”

Northam’s work showcases the truly world-class education that is offered to students in Virginia. Since being in office, Northam has increased the availability of childcare to Virginia families. Virginia now has free community college for working people in high-demand fields. Those eligible for the no-cost program include workers who have a career in Healthcare, Information Technology, Manufacturing and Skilled Trades, Early Childhood Education, and Public Safety.

Record funding has been given to Virginia’s K-12 public schools under Northam. As-needed financial aid for public undergraduates is also expanding. This was a $64 million investment and is more than any Governor in the state of Virginia has invested thus far. Northam has paved the way in Virginia when it comes to education, which could leave an enduring legacy and a hard act for his successors to follow.

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