House speaker introduces legislation to end HBCU lawsuit

Annapolis state house
Posted at 6:56 PM, Feb 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-06 18:56:59-05

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — On Thursday, House Speaker Adrienne A. Jones introduced legislation to force a settlement of the The Coalition for Equity and Excellent in Maryland Higher Education.

This case has been in litigation since 2006.

“I have spent most of my elected career focused on the training and success of our students, at the K-12 and higher education levels,” said Speaker Jones. “The issue of program duplication has lingered for far too long and is a blemish on our State’s strong system of higher education. I am pleased to have a solution to move forward and offer every student the support for the bright future they deserve.”

According to the release, the U.S. District Court found that, while the historically black colleges and universities have not been specifically underfunded, Maryland did operate a system of segregated higher education among Maryland public colleges and universities which specifically related to programming decisions.

The House Bill 1260 establishes a special fund to require the Governor to spend $580 million over 10 years to the four historically black colleges and universities in the state and if the case is settled, in five major areas of support:

  • Establishing new programs and investing in existing under-enrolled and under-utilized programs
  • Investing more in scholarships and financial aid programs
  • Recruiting new faculty and training faculty
  • Providing additional academic supports to students
  • Marketing new and under-enrolled programs

The bill also directs the four universities to work with University of Maryland, Global Campus to explore online programming opportunities.