SPEAKER JONES INTRODUCES LEGISLATION
TO END HISTORICALLY BLACK COLLEGE LAWSUIT
(ANNAPOLIS – February 7, 2020) – Today, House Speaker Adrienne A. Jones introduced legislation to force a settlement of the The Coalition for Equity and Excellent in Maryland Higher Education et. Al. v. Maryland Higher Education Commission. 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.”
The U.S. District Court found that, while the historically black colleges and universities have not been specifically underfunded, Maryland did operate a de jure system of segregated higher education among Maryland public colleges and universities specifically related to programming decisions. There are four historically black colleges and universities in Maryland: Bowie State, Coppin State and Morgan Universities, as well as University of Maryland, Eastern Shore.
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, if the case is settled, in five major areas of support:
Establishing new programs and investing in existing under-enrolled and under-utilized program
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.
“The Legislative Black Caucus stands unified with Speaker Adrienne Jones to resolve the 13 year-long lawsuit for our state’s HBCUs,” said Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland Chair Delegate Darryl Barnes. “We have the opportunity to set a precedent for other states to follow as we make history in the state of Maryland.”