Sen. Creigh Deeds, the Democratic nominee for governor, released the following statement Monday in recognition of National Historic Black Colleges and Universities Week.
"I join President Obama in celebrating Historically Black College week. Virginia's six historically Black institutions have a proud history and tradition here in the Commonwealth. For more than 100 years Hampton University, Norfolk State University, Saint Paul's College, Virginia State University, Virginia Union University and Virginia University of Lynchburg have educated tens of thousands of Virginians who have made great contributions to the Commonwealth, this nation and our world. Today, these schools remain a thriving part of our university system. It is my hope that these institutions continue to grow and flourish as they educate future generations of Virginians. And, as governor, I will make sure all of Virginia's HBCUs will be an integral part of my plan to create 70,000 new college graduates over the next ten years.
"To get there I'll make sure every student can access low-interest loans by guaranteeing students loans up to $15,000 for four-year colleges and up to $4,500 for community college students. Under my plan, anyone who can get into a 4-year school will have the opportunity to go.
"I'll add $40 million to the Virginia Partnership Fund and from that fund, give schools with the most need, the most money.
"I'll create a Virginia Promise Fund to curb tuition increases during tough economic times.
"I'll increase Tuition Assistance Grants (TAG) for Virginia residents attending private colleges in Virginia.
"And I'll pay-off a year of student loans for anyone who goes to teach in a high need area.
"Growing up, I didn't have much. In fact, my mom sent me off to college with just four $20 bills. I can tell you right now that I'm where I am today because of my college education. As Governor I'll make it my job to make sure college is an achievable goal for all of Virginia's children."