In 1980, an executive order signed by Jimmy Carter was filed with the Office of the Federal Register, regarding historically Black colleges and universities, otherwise known as HBCUs.
Executive Order 12232 established a federal program to “overcome the effects of discriminatory treatment and to strengthen and expand the capacity of historically Black colleges and universities to provide quality education.”
Following the launch of the program, every single president since then has signed an executive order altering and extending the previous one, while maintaining the basic principles. One year later, Ronald Reagan expanded the order, adding the White House Initiative summoning government assistance to help strengthen HBCUs. Almost 22 years after it’s implementation, President George W. Bush signed an executive order, transferring the initiative from the Office of Postsecondary Education within the U.S. Department of Education to the Department’s Office of the Secretary.
Now, as Donald Trump gears up to autograph an executive order, to follow suit of those before him, sources say Trump expected to make a change that will be different than that of his predecessors.
“I also want to honor and support the achievement of historically black colleges and universities throughout our nation,” Trump said in his weekly address, in preparation for the signing of his HBCU executive order. “They do a fantastic job. They are not given the credit that they deserve, and they are going to start getting that credit,” he added.
According to Politico, the president and CEO of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, Johnny C. Taylor Jr. worked with the administration to draft up the new order, in which the group asks to move the program out of the Department of Education and into the White House, give schools direct access to the Head of State. In addition, HBCU leaders have asked to for 5 percent of total federal grant, internship and co-op funding, reports state, and 10 percent of federal contract funding, as part of an “aspirational funding goal.”
Sources say the unconventional renewal could help build a relationship between HBCUs and the Trump administration. The new order could also provide Trump with the opportunity to get one up on President Obama, who caught major flak and criticism from HBCU leaders throughout his years in the Oval Office.