Kamala Harris proposes plan to invest $60 bil in Historically Black Colleges

U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., speaks at the AARP Presidential Forum at the Waterfront Convention Center in Bettendorf, Iowa on Tuesday, July 16, 2019. (Olivia Sun/The Des Moines Register via AP)

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) has rolled out two policy plans aimed at closing the wealth gap for black Americans.

Harris said in a press release that if elected president, she will invest $60 billion in historically black colleges and universities and $12 billion in black-owned businesses and entrepreneurship. She said she would also invest $2.5 billion in programs that train black teachers ― an addition to her March proposal to raise teachers’ salaries.REAL LIFE. REAL NEWS. REAL VOICES.Help us tell more of the stories that matter from voices that too often remain unheard.Become a founding member

The presidential hopeful, a graduate of HBCU Howard University, described the proposal as “the next major planks in her Black agenda,” according to her campaign’s fact sheet.

Of the $60 billion she plans to invest in HBCUs and other minority-serving institutions, Harris said she would put $10 billion toward school infrastructure to build classrooms, school labs and other facilities. The other $50 billion would be used to create a competitive fund at the Department of Education to support science, technology, engineering and math education at HBCUs. The competitive fund would go toward scholarships, fellowships and research.

The $12 billion policy proposal would be allocated to federal contracting programs that would help black business owners create businesses from the ground up.

“We can create a pipeline for ensuring that Black Americans are leading the research and entrepreneurship to grow our innovation economy and participate in the wealth it generates,” the campaign fact sheet states.

Harris plans to formally announce her proposal in a speech at the National Urban League conference in Indianapolis on Friday.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), another presidential hopeful, introduced her own plan to fund HBCUs in an essay for Blavity in May. Warren said she plans to invest $50 billion in HBCUs.