In a six-week trial over whether Maryland shortchanges its historically black universities, the state argued that it has given these schools fair funding as well as special consideration in recent years.
“The HBCUs [Historically Black Colleges and Universities] have been funded fairly,” Craig Thompson, attorney for the state, said last week, stressing the importance of every public college in Maryland.
But the plaintiffs, members of the Coalition for Equity and Excellence in Higher Education, say that historically black colleges in Maryland are treated as inferiors to their traditionally white counterparts, and that policies in effect have caused colleges to remain segregated.
The coalition sued the Maryland Higher Education Commission in 2006, seeking to “make the historically black colleges and universities comparable and competitive with traditionally white institutions,” said plaintiff’s attorney, John Brittain. The suit went to trial in U.S. District Court in Baltimore Jan. 3.
A victory by the coalition could mean additional enhancement and building funds, as well as an end to unnecessary program duplication between historically black and traditionally white schools.
Maryland’s four historically black colleges are Bowie State University, Morgan State University, Coppin State University and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. The universities themselves are not directly involved in the lawsuit, but the plaintiffs include current students and alumni.
The Coalition says that Maryland’s historically black schools have been limited by duplication of their academic programs at white institutions, because it gives non-black students less incentive to choose a historically black college. Read Full Article theDailyRecord