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Maryland’s HBCUs Sue for Equality

Records show that Maryland's four HBCUsMorgan State, Bowie State, Coppin State, and The University of Maryland Eastern Shore — have received $644 million less in state appropriations over the past decade than their predominately White counterparts. Realizing the need for equality, The Coalition for Equity and Excellence in Maryland Higher Education Inc. decided to sue the state for $2.1 billion in order to make improvements. 

Along with insufficient funding to pay for maintenance and repair of inadequate facilities, leaders of the coalition feel that programs the historically Black institutions provide are not as competitive as the same programs at nearby White schools, who are not willing to partner with them. "The dual education systems remain," said University of Wisconsin professor Clifton F. Conrad. “There continues to be substantial differences – severe differences – in terms of the number of programs and the quality of programs. Those students who enter Maryland’s historically Black institutions – whether Black, White, or other races – do not have an equal educational opportunity as those students who attend the state’s traditionally White institutions.” This landmark case has been argued in court for the past six years and finally came to an end last Thursday. The verdict is set for this summer. 

Do you think the state has purposely undermined the competitiveness of Maryland HBCUs or is everyone a victim of reduced collegiate funding? 

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