ANNAPOLIS – Kayla Moore testified Tuesday in Annapolis on how she participated in an exchange program while at Coppin State University in Baltimore with students at Frostburg State University.

Moore recalled that the state distributed more money to Frostburg to deal with pregnancy and opioid challenges in their respective communities.

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“Our state is struggling to fill our schools with qualified, diverse educators, but we will never meet this need if we continue to essentially divest from our four [historically Black colleges and universities],” said Moore, 23, a second grade teacher at University Park Elementary in Prince George’s County. “Doing so poses a negative impact on graduating high school seniors who want to be educators in Maryland, ultimately stunting the recruitment of diverse educators from our state, for our state.”

Moore joined dozens of other alumni, students and other supporters to tell the House Appropriations Committee to fund Maryland’s four historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs). Specifically, the group called for the committee to recommend legislation sponsored by House Speaker Adrienne Jones for the governor to include $57.7 million in the state’s operating budget beginning in fiscal 2022 for the state’s HBCUs.

Before testimony continued at the hearing, Del. Maggie McIntosh (D-Baltimore City), who chairs the Appropriations Committee, praised Moore.

“You are an example of what we want to move toward in Maryland,” she said to rousing applause.

The bill is one of the top priorities of the Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland, which seeks to end the ongoing 13-year HBCU lawsuit.

The money would be designated this way: $24 million for Morgan State University, $16.7 million for Bowie State University, $9.6 million for the University of Maryland Eastern Shore and $7.2 million for Coppin State University. Read more via Washington Informer.