Clinton Jabs Bush on Black Enrollment Drops

August 3, 2015

Hillary Clinton, the Democratic presidential candidate, on Friday used a speech at the annual meeting of the National Urban League to criticize Governor Jeb Bush, a candidate for the Republican nomination who was to speak later that day. Clinton said she was pleased that other candidates would be attending, but said that she was concerned about a "mismatch" between what candidates tell groups like the Urban League and what they actually do. She didn't name Bush by name, but several times referenced "Right to Rise," the name of Bush's political action committee. People "can't rise if their governor makes it harder to get a college education," she said.

Clinton's apparent reference was to the impact of Bush, which governor of Florida, ending the consideration of race and ethnicity by Florida's public universities. Black enrollment dropped significantly at the University of Florida as a result. The same is true for Florida State University. And while Latino higher education enrollments have increased, many credit the state's population boom for that, and suggest that Bush's policies did not -- as he has boasted -- encourage those gains.

In his remarks at the National Urban League, Bush did not respond to what Clinton said. But he did say that, while he was governor, "we expanded our community college system and made it more affordable for low-income families. Florida in those years helped thousands more first-generation college students make it all the way to graduation."


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