NAICU Washington Update

Senate Passes HBCU PARTNERS Act

December 17, 2020

After passing in the House of Representatives earlier this month, the Senate has also passed the HBCU Propelling Agency Relationships Towards a New Era of Results for Students (PARTNERS) Act, which seeks to enhance the relationship of HBCUs with various federal agencies. 

Specifically, the bill codifies Executive Order (EO) 13779, which, beginning with the Carter Administration, was written to identify federal agencies that regularly interact with HBCUs and require those agencies to prepare an annual plan describing its efforts to strengthen the capacity of HBCUs to participate in applicable federal programs and initiatives. 

The bill was drafted to do the following: 
  • Strengthen the capacity and competitiveness of HBCUs to fulfill their principal mission of equalizing educational opportunity;
  • Align HBCUs with the educational and economic competitiveness priorities of the United States;
  • Provide students enrolled at HBCUs with the highest quality educational and economic opportunities;
  • Bolster and facilitate productive interactions between HBCUs and Federal agencies; and
  • Encourage HBCU participation in and benefit from Federal programs, grants, contracts, and cooperative agreements.
With the Senate’s passage, the bill is now headed to the president for his signature.

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