ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Historically Black colleges and universities in Maryland would receive up to $56.9 million annually under legislation, sponsors say, that would restore years of underfunding and program duplication by the state but is unlikely to pass.
Proponents of the measure have rejected, as too little, a Feb. 7 offer from Republican Gov. Larry Hogan of a total of $100 million over the next 10 years to a coalition of historically Black colleges and universities.
A group of alumni in 2006 sued the state for creating programs at other public institutions that copied and drew students away from similar programs at Maryland’s historically Black schools, such as an accelerated MBA program at Morgan State University and a master’s in computer science at Bowie State University.
Efforts to mediate have failed.
In 2013, U.S. District Court Judge Catherine Blake ruled that Maryland violated the constitutional rights of students at the state’s four Black institutions by duplicating their programs at traditionally White schools.
In 2015, Blake proposed that the state establish high-demand programs at the four HBCUs to attract more diverse students and help with desegregation.
In 2016, mediation between the state and the coalition failed. In 2017, Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh, a Democrat, and Hogan appealed the 2013 decision.
Delegate Nick Mosby, D-Baltimore, said Hogan’s offer is nowhere near enough for the amount of funding needed for these schools.
The state’s $100 million offer “basically equates to about $2.5 million per institution for the next 10 years and unfortunately that is throwing peanuts at a very gigantic problem,” said Mosby, who is sponsoring the House legislation.
Senate bill sponsor Sen. Joan Carter Conway, D-Baltimore, toldbowieCapital News Service this would not be acceptable, because the state owes HBCUs around $2.5 billion to $3 billion.
Conway also said if the amount had been offered as a lump sum of $100 million, then that could change the situation, but spread over time, the amount seems unjust. read full Afro.com