Maryland Legislature Looks to End the 14-Year Litigation Filed by the State’s HBCUs

The Maryland legislature recently passed a bill that seeks to end the 14-year litigation filed by the state’s four historically Black universities. The bill provides $577 million over 10 years to the four universities. The provisions of the legislation will be enacted on December 1, if the lawsuit is not settled by that time.

The HBCUs – Morgan State University, Coppin State University, Bowie State University, and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore – filed the case against the state of Maryland in 2006, on the grounds that the state failed to remove systemic barriers that led to segregation in Maryland’s higher education system. These claims included that the state failed to provide proper funding to their respective schools and also allowed predominately White Maryland institutions to create new degree programs that were duplicative of programs at HBCUs.

In 2018, Maryland Governor Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. said he was willing to dedicate as much as $100 million over 10 years to Maryland HBCUs to settle the lawsuit. Last fall, Governor Hogan made what he said was a “final offer” of $200 million spread over 10 years. At the time of the publication of this post, Governor Hogan has not said whether he would sign the legislation. But both houses of the legislature passed the measure by veto-proof margins.

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  1. Are you kidding me Governor Hogan and the Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland (LBCM) with this insulting settlement. Anyone with an inkling of mathematical intelligence can clearly see that $14.5 million per HBCU is not sufficient enough to make them whole after decades of funding disparities. Further, I wouldn’t be too surprised if the total amount was extrapolated from the Ayers v Fordice case in Mississippi.This is another sad day for MD HBCUs due to their scores of spineless MD HBCU presidents and upper echelon administrators, Board of Trustees and especially the LBCM.

  2. You may want to consider a modification to the last line of the first paragraph in your report. The actual legislation provides that the funding occurs only if all parties, including the federal judge agree to the proposed settlement, and if the agreement is not certified by the state Attorney General by December 11, 2020 it becomes null and void.

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