Maryland HBCUs Win Lawsuit To End Inequality In Funding

For little over a decade, the alumni from Morgan State University, Coppin State University, University of Maryland Eastern Shore and Bowie State University have been locked in litigation with the state to dismantle what they say is racial segregation, causing a federal judge to appoint a special official to craft a plan to increase diversity at Maryland’s historically black colleges.

U.S. District Judge Catherine Blake rejected proposals this week by a civil rights group and state higher education officials. She wrote in a ruling Wednesday that neither party’s proposals were “practicable, educationally sound, and sufficient to address segregating harms of program duplication. this results from the parties’ failure or inability to consult with the other side in crafting their proposals,” Blake.

Instead of adopting either party’s proposal as it stands, Blake said the court will appoint a special master to develop a remedial plan. The plan will incorporate elements of the parties’ proposals. The judge told parties to submit choices for a special master within 60 days, and the official should submit a final draft of a plan within a year of being appointed. “”Crafting such a Plan is a daunting task requiring the good faith collaboration of the Coalition and the State, “The court urges such collaboration to strengthen and enhance Maryland’s HBI’s for the benefit of all Maryland students, present and future.” Blake

The case is more than a decade old. A coalition representing the state’s four historically black colleges contends the state has underfunded the institutions while developing programs at traditionally white schools that directly compete with and drain prospective students away from the African-American schools.

Today, the group of alumni from Maryland’s four HBCUs are celebrating a small victory after the federal court decision to appoint a special official to course-correct the lack of investment in the state’s HBCUs.

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1 Comment

  • PrimeTime alias Spotlight Reply

    November 17, 2017 at 6:01 PM

    Bowie State University needs music education back. UMBC was allowed to develop a Music Ed program (they never had one) while Towson is still within driving range.

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