President Barack Obama announced an executive order establishing the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans. The President said it will give black students “a complete and competitive education from the time they’re born all through the time they get a career.”
“We also believe that every entrepreneur should have a chance to start a business, no matter who you are, no matter what you look like,” he added. “That’s why we’ve helped African-American businesses and minority-owned businesses and women-owned businesses gain access to more than $7 billion in contracts and financing that allow them to grow and create jobs.”
The plan calls for local communities to work with the Federal government in an attempt to prepare black students for high school and college. As part of the initiative, Obama wants to see the price of college tuition drop.
“A higher education in the 21st century cannot be a luxury. It is a vital necessity that every American should be able to afford. I want all these young people to be getting a higher education, and I don’t want them loaded up with tens of thousands of dollars of debt just to get an education. That’s how we make America great,” he said. The remarks came during a speech on Wednesday in New Orleans to civil rights group National Urban League Convention.
The campaign stop was meant to rally black voters. A recent Gallup poll showed that 89 percent of blacks support Obama. In 2008, 95 percent of blacks voted for Obama.
According to a National Urban League Policy Institute report, if the turnout of black voters returns to 2004 numbers, Obama will lose in North Carolina and perhaps in Ohio and Virginia.