Florida Gov. DeSantis Allocates $10M For HBCU Security Amid Concerns

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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis will allocate new funding toward the state’s HBCU security measures. For the 2024-25 school year, the “Focus on Florida’s Future” budget will grant $2.5 million to all four historically Black colleges and universities. However, some lawmakers argue that the allotment is not enough.

Florida A&M, Bethune-Cookman, Edward Waters, and Florida Memorial universities will all receive their designated millions to “support facility hardening needs,” totaling $10 million toward the increased security protections at the HBCUs. The budget will also grant $10 million for Jewish Day Schools within the state, with $20 million allocated to the Division of Emergency for schools with an “elevated threat level,” BET News reports.

According to HBCU Buzz, Democratic State Sen. Shevrin Jones believes the funding is insufficient to fully address the safety concerns at the schools, especially as the budget is $4.6 million less than the current year’s designation. He publicly noted the “conspicuous absence” of vital funding for HBCUs as they face more security threats within the state and across the nation.

“While the Governor appropriately proposes measures to address Jewish student safety, I was struck by the conspicuous absence of protections for Historically Black Colleges and Universities as they face a troubling increase of campus threats,” Jones said. “Our goal must be safety across the board – not just for some communities.”

In Florida specifically, Edward Waters University was one of the stops made by a mass shooter in Jacksonville, who walked around the school’s campus before fleeing as security approached his vehicle. The shooter went on to kill three people at a Dollar General down the road in the August incident. A rise in shootings around HBCU communities has shocked the country, with Morgan State and Bowie State University students also being impacted by gun violence.

While the budget allocation is meant to better protect the schools in light of the increase in violence, many worry that the lackluster funding will only spell trouble for HBCUs in the upcoming year.

RELATED CONTENT: Police: Howard University Student Robbed And Pistol Whipped While Walking To Class

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