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Kamala Harris proposes $60B for STEM programs at black colleges

By
Nicholas Sakelaris
Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., proposed a $60 billion plan to fund STEM-related education at historically black colleges. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI
Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., proposed a $60 billion plan to fund STEM-related education at historically black colleges. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

July 26 (UPI) -- Democratic presidential hopeful Kamala Harris on Friday unveiled a proposal to invest $60 billion in science, technology, engineering and math education at historically black colleges.

Harris is the only 2020 presidential candidate who graduated from a historically black college, Howard University, and her campaign views the proposal as the next step in her agenda for the black community.

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She will unveil the plan in a speech to the National Urban League conference in Indianapolis Friday.

"We have to reverse this trend," Harris said in a campaign fact sheet. "With access to proper resources, HBCU and other MSI (minority serving institutions) can be hubs of activity for STEM research and learning ... 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."

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The program would dedicate $10 billion for infrastructure to build grant programs to help build classrooms, labs and other facilities. The remaining $50 billion would fund scholarships, fellowships and research.

Harris also proposed a $12 billion capital grant and technical support program to help minorities start their own businesses. She also wants student loan forgiveness programs for Pell grant recipients who start their own business in disadvantaged communities.

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Democratic rival Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., proposed a plan to offer $50 billion to historically black colleges and universities in May.

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