WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, Vice-Chair of the House HBCU caucus, Congressman Mike Turner, announced that he will serve as a cosponsor of The Institutional Grants for New Infrastructure, Technology, and Education for (IGNITE) HBCU Excellence Act. This legislation led by Representatives Alma S. Adams, Ph.D., French Hill and Senators Chris Coons and Tim Scott, would provide $5 billion for HBCUs over 10 years to utilize public and private investments to update schools’ campuses including facilities and research; preserve historic buildings; increase access to campus-wide high-speed broadband to support online learning; improve and support community-based partnerships that provide academic, health and social services; and secure equipment and technology for high quality instruction and research.
“HBCUs are vital contributors to both the education and equality of our communities, yet the vast majority of these institutions are in desperate need of infrastructure repairs and technology upgrades. Wilberforce University and Central State University are important to both our history and the future investment of our community. That is why as Vice-Chair of the House HBCU Caucus, I join my colleagues as a cosponsor of the IGNITE HBCU Excellence Act," said Turner. "This bipartisan legislation would make a historic investment in HBCUs to equip them with the resources to strengthen technological advancement and research, improve community partnerships, and make necessary upgrades to campus facilities.”
According to a report by the UNCF, each year, HBCUs contribute nearly $15 billion to their communities, produce 134,000 jobs, and create $46.8 billion in alumni career earnings that can be directly attributed to their degrees. Specifically, a report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that 70 of 79 HBCUs surveyed reported that 46 percent of their building space needed repair or complete replacement. Yet, HBCUs have been historically underfunded.
As Vice-Chair of the House HBCU caucus, Rep. Turner has long advocated for increased support for HBCU’s and has led the charge for debt forgiveness for Wilberforce University.