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Trump: Budget Reflects Commitment to Historically Black Colleges, Universities

U.S. President Donald Trump listens to Johnny Taylor speak after Trump named Taylor as the Chairman of the President’s Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities at the White House in Washington, Feb. 27, 2018.

U.S. President Donald Trump announced Tuesday additional leadership in the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

"I'm proud to say that my budget continues America's commitment to helping HBCUs improve their competitiveness, requesting more than half a billion dollars for HBCU-focused programs," he said.

He also named Johnny Taylor Jr., the former president of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, as Chairman of the President's Board of Advisors on HBCUs.

Trump said he had ordered 31 government agencies that regularly interact with HBCUs to develop annual plans to "strengthen the capacity" of those schools.

There were more than 231,000 students at these schools in 2014, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Almost 80 percent were black.

Total enrollment at HBCUs declined from 326,614 to 294,316 between 2010 and 2014, according to the latest information available from the center. The percentage of black college students attending historically black colleges or universities dropped from 18 percent of the overall total in 1976 to 8 percent in 2014.

Earlier in the day, the leaders of the nation's historically black colleges and universities met with top GOP officials at this year's HBCU Fly-In, sponsored by congressional Republicans.

However, they did not go to the Oval Office for a photo op with Trump. Last year, the college and university leaders faced backlash from their students and faculty after they posed with Trump at the White House.