The state of Maryland has voted in favor of awarding the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, as well as Bowie, Coppin and Morgan State Universities more than half a billion dollars in compensation for years of institutional racial discrimination, signaling the end of a long legal battle.
In a victory resulting from a lawsuit filed more than a decade ago, four historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) can expect a boost to their budgets of a total of $577m after the Maryland senate, in a rare legislative resolution to legal action, gave bipartisan support to a landmark settlement.
The bill permits Maryland’s HBCUs to use the additional funding to establish new degree programs, recruit faculty and marketing contractors, and invest in scholarships and financial aid.
Funding would be distributed proportional to enrollment at each institution.
If the HBCU coalition and the state cannot formally accept the legislated agreement by December 1st, it becomes null and void.
The bill requires that attorney’s fees, about $22m, be paid through a mandated $10m increase for each campus in each fiscal year to help with long-term planning, scheduled to begin 2022.