Cory Booker 1

Democratic presidential candidate Cory Booker speaks at the Iowa Democratic Wing Ding Friday at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake.

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Democratic presidential candidate Cory Booker proposed $60 billion in new funding for grants to benefit educational programming and infrastructure upgrades at historical black colleges and universities.

The U.S. senator from New Jersey said the funding boost would provide funding security for HBCUs for years, and would help the schools expand and improve STEM education and help with recruitment, retention, and graduation rates.

HBCUs would also be included in Booker’s proposals for college in general, including helping public college students to graduate debt-free, doubling Pell Grants, and forgiving loan debt for low-income students.

“HBCUs make our country stronger and more reflective of the diversity that makes us so great,” Booker said in a statement. “I am here today because of the power of these institutions to uplift and bring about opportunity to black Americans. As president, I will redouble our efforts to support and invest in HBCUs across the country --- my mother and father wouldn’t have it any other way.”

This article originally ran on globegazette.com.

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