WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump will sign a measure on Tuesday aimed at boosting government support for the nation’s historically black colleges, a senior White House official said.
Trump, a Republican, has pledged to improve the lives of black Americans, who voted overwhelmingly in favor of his Democratic opponent in the 2016 presidential election.
Trump’s order will move the federal government’s program for promoting historically black colleges and universities, known as HBCUs, back under direct oversight of the White House.
The move of the federal program, now housed in the Education Department, will make these institutions “a priority again,” by easing the way for partnerships with government agencies, the official added.
The order will allow them “to serve as a strategic partner to the president’s urban agenda of creating jobs and making inner cities safe again,” the official said.
At a White House listening session on Monday with representatives of 64 of the roughly 100 such institutions in the United States, Vice President Mike Pence stressed that the Trump administration wanted to work with them.
“You deserve far more credit than you get, and know that beginning today, this administration is committed to making sure that our historically black colleges and universities get the credit and the attention they deserve,” he added.
Presidents from both parties have signed executive orders backing the federal initiative on HBCUs in various forms since 1980.
Reporting by Ayesha Rascoe; Editing by Clarence Fernandez