Doug Jones Plans Summit to Explore HBCU Challenges

 ========= Old Image Removed =========Array
(
    [_wp_attached_file] => Array
        (
            [0] => 2017/04/IMG_0180_2-scaled.jpg
        )

    [_wp_attachment_metadata] => Array
        (
            [0] => a:6:{s:5:"width";i:2560;s:6:"height";i:1920;s:4:"file";s:29:"2017/04/IMG_0180_2-scaled.jpg";s:5:"sizes";a:14:{s:6:"medium";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:22:"IMG_0180_2-336x252.jpg";s:5:"width";i:336;s:6:"height";i:252;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:5:"large";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:22:"IMG_0180_2-771x578.jpg";s:5:"width";i:771;s:6:"height";i:578;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:9:"thumbnail";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:22:"IMG_0180_2-140x140.jpg";s:5:"width";i:140;s:6:"height";i:140;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:12:"medium_large";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:22:"IMG_0180_2-768x576.jpg";s:5:"width";i:768;s:6:"height";i:576;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:9:"1536x1536";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:24:"IMG_0180_2-1536x1152.jpg";s:5:"width";i:1536;s:6:"height";i:1152;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:9:"2048x2048";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:24:"IMG_0180_2-2048x1536.jpg";s:5:"width";i:2048;s:6:"height";i:1536;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:9:"wbhm-icon";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:20:"IMG_0180_2-80x80.jpg";s:5:"width";i:80;s:6:"height";i:80;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:13:"wbhm-featured";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:22:"IMG_0180_2-600x338.jpg";s:5:"width";i:600;s:6:"height";i:338;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:20:"wbhm-featured-square";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:22:"IMG_0180_2-600x600.jpg";s:5:"width";i:600;s:6:"height";i:600;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:18:"wbhm-featured-home";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:22:"IMG_0180_2-415x311.jpg";s:5:"width";i:415;s:6:"height";i:311;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:22:"wbhm-featured-carousel";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:22:"IMG_0180_2-353x265.jpg";s:5:"width";i:353;s:6:"height";i:265;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:28:"ab-block-post-grid-landscape";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:22:"IMG_0180_2-600x400.jpg";s:5:"width";i:600;s:6:"height";i:400;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:25:"ab-block-post-grid-square";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:22:"IMG_0180_2-600x600.jpg";s:5:"width";i:600;s:6:"height";i:600;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:14:"post-thumbnail";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:22:"IMG_0180_2-125x125.jpg";s:5:"width";i:125;s:6:"height";i:125;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}}s:10:"image_meta";a:12:{s:8:"aperture";s:1:"0";s:6:"credit";s:0:"";s:6:"camera";s:0:"";s:7:"caption";s:0:"";s:17:"created_timestamp";s:1:"0";s:9:"copyright";s:0:"";s:12:"focal_length";s:1:"0";s:3:"iso";s:1:"0";s:13:"shutter_speed";s:1:"0";s:5:"title";s:0:"";s:11:"orientation";s:1:"0";s:8:"keywords";a:0:{}}s:14:"original_image";s:14:"IMG_0180_2.jpg";}
        )

    [_media_credit] => Array
        (
            [0] => Sherrel Wheeler Stewart
        )

    [_navis_media_credit_org] => Array
        (
            [0] =>  WBHM 
        )

    [_navis_media_can_distribute] => Array
        (
            [0] => 
        )

)
1618971242 
1548956458

U.S. Sen. Doug Jones will host the first annual Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Summit Friday at Lawson State Community College. There, Jones says, educators, administrators, and students will discuss factors that pose the greatest threat to HBCUs, and opportunities ahead, specifically in terms of funding.

“Getting these folks together in one place to compare notes, talk about their challenges but also talk about their best practices, I think is going to be helpful to each of them,” Jones says. “It’s going to be helpful to me and my staff about what we can do to help them going forward.”

Alabama has more HBCU’s than any state in the nation. Many of those schools struggle financially to stay afloat. Stillman College in Tuscaloosa two years ago was working to climb out from under a mountain of debt. During his time in the Senate, Jones has worked to boost federal funding of HBCU’s and other minority-serving institutions. In March, he secured a 14 percent increase in federal funding through the omnibus spending bill. That brought funding from $244.7 million in FY17 to $279.6 million in FY18.

The funding increase followed a request made by Senators Jones and Kamala Harris last year in a letter to the leadership of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies.

Jones says HBCUs can determine how best to use that money, whether it’s infrastructure or staffing. “This money can go into their coffers to use as they see fit,” Jones says.

Sen. Doug Jones

Sen. Doug Jones

The United Negro College Fund estimates Alabama’s HBCUs have an economic impact of $1.5 billion. The state has 14 HBCUs; Concordia College closed last year. Jones says some of the financial challenges stem from the significantly smaller endowments many of these schools have, which forces them to rely more on tuition for revenue. Sharp rises in tuition, he says, lead to lower enrollment. Friday’s summit includes a grant-writing workshop to help HBCU leaders leverage the most money they possibly can, Jones says. There will also be a job fair for students.

Almost two years ago, HBCU leaders met in the Oval Office with President Donald Trump. The president then signed an executive order moving the federal program that supports HBCUs from the U.S. Department of Education back to the White House. The idea as it was presented then was that the administration could possibly send more funding to HBCUs in the future. But Jones says Trump hasn’t made good on that pledge. The increases in HBCU funding have all come through efforts in Congressional, he says.
“That was a wonderful photo-op that the president had right after taking office, but I don’t think that they have matched that photo opportunity with dollars,” Jones says.

Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin is expected to speak at Friday’s summit, as well as a number of Alabama HBCU administrators.

 

Once praised, settlement to help sickened BP oil spill workers leaves most with nearly nothing

Thousands of ordinary people who helped clean up after the 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico say they got sick. A court settlement was supposed to help compensate them, but it hasn’t turned out as expected.

Q&A: How harm reduction can help mitigate the opioid crisis

Maia Szalavitz discusses harm reduction's effectiveness against drug addiction, how punitive policies can hurt people who need pain medication and more.

The Gulf States Newsroom is hiring a Community Engagement Producer

The Gulf States Newsroom is seeking a curious, creative and collaborative professional to work with our regional team to build up engaged journalism efforts.

Gambling bills face uncertain future in the Alabama legislature

This year looked to be different for lottery and gambling legislation, which has fallen short for years in the Alabama legislature. But this week, with only a handful of meeting days left, competing House and Senate proposals were sent to a conference committee to work out differences.

Alabama’s racial, ethnic health disparities are ‘more severe’ than other states, report says

Data from the Commonwealth Fund show that the quality of care people receive and their health outcomes worsened because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

What’s your favorite thing about Alabama?

That's the question we put to those at our recent News and Brews community pop-ups at Hop City and Saturn in Birmingham.

More Front Page Coverage