*The leaders of the nation’s historically black colleges and universities breathed a sigh of relief last week when they learned that President Barack Obama’s fiscal 2011 budget includes a $30 million funding increase for their financially struggling schools.

Last year, many black educators were shocked by what they considered to be substantial cuts to black colleges and other educational institutions dedicated to select minorities, such as Native Americans, in Obama’s first budget proposal.

“The United Negro College Fund and the entire community of minority-serving institutions were disappointed at last year’s budget proposal, which recommended a decrease from previous funding levels,” fund President Michael Lomax said in a written statement analyzing Obama’s latest budget. “The increase – $30 million higher than last year’s levels – proposed in the budget that has just been released shows that the administration was listening.”

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