Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg says he’ll dedicate $50 billion to historically black colleges and universities if he’s elected president.
The South Bend, Indiana, mayor spoke Monday night at Morehouse College in Atlanta.
Buttigieg says HBCUs were underfunded for generations, putting those institutions at a disadvantage.
“There’s no way we can just wash our hands of this and say that ‘well, now we’ve torn down a lot of these structures of discrimination so equity will just take care of itself.’ It won’t because the harms compound,” Buttigieg said.
Not only does Buttigieg want to invest $50 billion in these schools, he also wants to make it easier for students to attend them. He supports free college tuition for low- and middle-income students and easier access to Pell Grants.
Buttigieg also said he wants to eliminate some student debt.
“I can’t promise that we can wipe away everything for everybody, but I will say that we’ve gotta do something about it,” he said.
Buttigieg said top priority for loan forgiveness would be for those who work in a public service job.
“Another thing we can do is make the income-based repayment plan easier to work,” Buttigieg said.
Buttigieg is one of several presidential candidates visiting Atlanta-area HBCUs this week while in town for Wednesday night’s Democratic debate.