The Senate passed a bill Thursday to help the U.S. Department of Education, the federal agency charged with making sure schools have the resources to help students succeed in the 21st century.
The bill, sponsored by Republican Sens.
Thom Tillis of North Carolina and Jerry Moran of Kansas, would allow the Education Department to “maintain an independent fund” for scholarships for students of color, and it would give it authority to “invest in technologies, practices and systems that enhance diversity.”
It would also provide $1 billion for “institutional innovation and the development of technology that will support the goals of diversity.”
The bill is the latest effort by Republicans in Congress to help educate students of Color, an increasingly powerful demographic in American society.
Republicans are working to repeal the Obama administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which allows eligible DACA recipients to work legally in the United States.
The Trump administration has proposed a similar bill that would let more than 4 million DACA recipients stay in the country until they can return home.
Tillis and Moran also introduced a bill to help ensure that black students from public schools and charter schools receive the same access to scholarships and grants as white students.
Tilis and fellow Republicans said the funding would help them “reduce the barriers” faced by black students in higher education.
The Department of Justice and the Department of Health and Human Services also are working on new ways to help disadvantaged students get into college.
Towis, who chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee, said the money will allow the department to “ensure that every eligible student who applies for federal financial aid receives the full range of financial aid options available to all students.”
He added, “The Trump Administration’s budget proposal puts the Department in a strong position to make an impact on our economy and to support our children’s future.”