Attorney urges Maryland to settle HBCUs case for $577M

Posted at 6:15 PM, Sep 10, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-10 18:15:57-04

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — An attorney representing Maryland's four historically black colleges is urging the state to settle a long-running lawsuit over disparities in programs for $577 million "over a reasonable period of time."

Michael Jones wrote Tuesday to lawmakers, after mediation failed in July.

Jones notes that Mississippi settled its HBCU case nearly 20 years ago for about $517 million. Jones says that is about $791 million in today's dollars.

Jones says if Mississippi could afford that, "surely Maryland can afford a lesser amount to remedy its constitutional violation."

The colleges say the state underfunded them while developing programs at traditionally white schools.

A federal judge ruled in favor of the HBCUs in 2013, saying the state unnecessarily duplicated programs.

The state proposed a settlement last year of $100 million over 10 years.