FILE - South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster speaks at a COVID-19 briefing on Friday, April 3, 2020, in West Columbia, S.C.

(The Center Square) – Gov. Henry McMaster announced he will allocate $2.4 million for South Carolina’s eight historically black colleges and universities.

Funds came from the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Fund, awarded to each governor through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act for the purpose of supporting educational institutions most significantly affected by the coronavirus.

As a condition of receiving the funds, each institution must provide a report to the governor of how the funds were used.

“This funding will help us continue and expand our online education models,” Dwaun Warmack, president of Claflin University in Orangeburg, told The Center Square.

Allen University will use the GEER funds to facilitate and expand eLearning resources, electronic textbooks and other digital tools.

“Such support for HBCUs will assist institutions like Allen University to continue building expressways over the digital divide,” university President Ernest McNealey said. “We acknowledge and express appreciation for those individuals and groups whose work informed the decisions the Governor announced.”

The GEER funds were allocated based on student enrollment and percentage of Pell Grant recipients at each institution.

“This spring, when learning went from in-person to online, the faculty and students at our HBCUs faced significant technology challenges,” McMaster said. “These funds will be used to upgrade the capabilities of these institutions to serve students with online learning.”

Staff Reporter

Vivian Jones reports on Tennessee and South Carolina for The Center Square. Her writing has appeared in the Detroit News, The Hill, and publications of The Heartland Institute.