President Trump could use a guardian angel before he sometimes rudely or crudely tweets or comments, but he is not the “racist” that some of his opponents claim he is. If he had racist intentions, he’s sure doing a poor job of drafting consistent racist policies! Black unemployment rates are at record lows, dropping from 7.7% when he took office to 5.5% in August. He has created Opportunity Zones in the inner cities to help blacks start new businesses and now he has made Pell Grants available for Summer school, something President Obama couldn’t deliver.
In early September, President Trump addressed the 2019 National Historically Black Colleges and Universities Conference in Washington, DC, after signing legislation to increase federal funding for HBCU’s by a record 13%. Many in the media missed a chance to inform the public about a few important parts of his remarks that day, which directly affect many college students.
Members of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund asked for needy college students to receive Pell Grants not only in the Fall and Spring semesters, but also in the Summer. Trump included that request in his budget and worked with Congress to get it done. The audience applauded as Trump noted “we had a little opposition to getting that done, I must tell you, but we got it done.”
Harry Williams, the chief executive and president of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, said “We have seen some very positive gains as it relates to supporting our institutions.” Williams added that the most important policy change was the restoration of year-round Pell Grants, which help low-income students afford summer school. (My local university president acknowledged this, too!) Williams also added, “You’re not going to applaud if nothing is happening,” after the President was interrupted by applause approximately 30 times during his HBCU speech.
As a former educator, I believe it is important for the media to better inform aspiring college students that Pell Grants are now available for year-round college study.