TRUMP MEETS WITH BLACK LEADERS, SIGNS HBCU EXEC ORDER FOR BLACK COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES NEGLECTED BY OBAMA, MEDIA FOCUS ON BETSY DEVOS COMMENT
( Daily Mail ) President Donald Trump signed an executive order on the final day of Black History Month demonstrating his commitment to African-American colleges.
Trump is moving the initiative to boost Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) from the Department of Education, where advocates of the program say it received insufficient attention in Barack Obama’s administration, to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
‘This is a very important moment and a moment that means a great deal to me,’ Trump said in the Oval Office.
The executive order will make HBCUs ‘a priority again,’ a senior administration official said, promising the ‘full force of the White House’ to the education initiative.
The measure had been applauded by HBCU advocates. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos courted controversy, however, when she said that the black colleges, which were by definition founded in the era of segregation, were proof of the success that the school choice policies she’s pushing have had.
DeVos said in a Monday statement, ‘HBCUs are real pioneers when it comes to school choice.
‘They are living proof that when more options are provided to students, they are afforded greater access and greater quality. Their success has shown that more options help students flourish.’
Educators told Politico that they were ‘floored’ by the DeVos statement and called it a ‘bit crazy.’ Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill called it ‘totally nuts.’
‘HBCUs were created for African-Americans because they had no choice and were unable to attend schools due to segregation laws,’ Austin Lane, president of Texas Southern University, said.
Lane was among a group of HBCU representatives who visited the White House yesterday and met with DeVos and Trump.
The Department of Education has since pointed out that DeVos also said schools with the HBCU designation ‘started from the fact that there were too many students in America who did not have equal access to education.
‘They saw that the system wasn’t working, that there was an absence of opportunity, so they took it upon themselves to provide the solution