For over a decade, historically black colleges and universities (HBCU) in Maryland have been fighting for equal funding.
In 2006, Morgan State University, Coppin State University, Bowie State University and University of Maryland, Eastern Shore, filed a suit against the state claiming it helped segregate higher education by supplying more funding to traditionally white institutions, according to The Baltimore Sun.
On Wednesday in a letter to Cheryl D. Glenn, chair of the state's legislative black caucus, from Gov. Larry Hogan's legal counsel, the Republican proposed using up to $100 Million to support HBCUs. The funds would be used to fill in the gaps for what the schools lost over the 10-year period. This settlement amount is "more than double" the funds offered early on in the case, The Washington Post reports.
“It represents a serious, multi-year commitment which we believe goes well beyond what the law requires,” Robert Scholz, Hogan's chief legal counsel, said in the letter. However, this case is not over yet.Lawyers representing the four HBCUs proposed last year the settlement be used to develop high-demand educational programs. However, Maryland's legal team wanted to utilize the money for marketing efforts towards multicultural centers and scholarships. In the end, a federal judge rejected both proposals thus prolonging the 12-year case.
Michael Jones, lead attorney for the HBCUs, said that Hogan's letter was a “step toward a meaningful remedy, but it is not the end of the journey."