WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Bush on Tuesday created a presidential advisory board for historically black colleges and universities.
The president signed an executive order establishing the board, which includes sitting presidents of the colleges, representatives of private foundations and other educational institutions, business and financial leaders and high school administrators.
Bush charged the panel with submitting an annual report with recommendations on advancing historically black schools in terms of academic performance, use of technology, financial planning and development, said White House spokesman Ari Fleischer.
Bush signed the order before a gathering of black college officials in the East Room.
The president's budget plan for fiscal 2003 proposes about $264 million for historically black colleges, and $89 million for historically Hispanic schools. One of his campaign promises was to increase funding for these institutions by 30 percent between 2001, the year he took office, and 2005, the year his first term ends.
Bush, in radio address, celebrates black education and achievement
'Our historically black colleges opened the door to knowledge'
JACKSON, Wyoming (AP) -- President Bush said Saturday that opportunity and achievement for black Americans rest on the kinds of educational opportunities his administration supports.
"Education is the beginning of opportunity," Bush said in his weekly radio address, which paid tribute to National Black History Month.
"Nobody can understand this country without understanding the African-American experience," Bush said. "Throughout our history, the experience of black Americans has challenged every American to live up to the best ideals of our country: freedom, equality and justice."
Bush arrived in Wyoming after opening the 2002 Olympic Games in Salt Lake City and telling America's Olympic contenders "the whole country is pulling for you."
His radio talk was broadcast as he began a relaxing weekend in Wyoming's snowy Jackson Hole country, with its ski trails and panoramic views of the Grand Tetons.
The address showcased his administration's education reform bill and the mission of the nation's historically black colleges and universities.
Bush called the education bill a means of "returning high standards and accountability to all our public schools."
He said his budget keeps faith with his promise to increase federal aid to black institutions of higher learning by 30 percent over four years.
"Our historically black colleges and universities opened the door to knowledge, when other doors were barred," Bush said. "And today they offer exciting opportunities to young people to contribute to their country."
Bush invoked the names of a long roster of black heroes, including Frederick Douglass, W.E.B. DuBois, Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks, "who courageously refused to yield to injustice on a Montgomery, Alabama, bus."
"Today we are fighting for freedom in a new way, and on new battlefields," Bush said in a reference to the war on terrorism.
"And we continue to press for equal opportunity for every American here at home," he said. "We want every American to be educated up to his or her full potential."