Maryland state senators voted to send more than a half-billion dollars to four majority-black institutions of higher learning, settling a 13-year-old lawsuit in which federal courts repeatedly found the state guilty of systematically discriminating against historically black colleges and universities.
On Sunday, the Baltimore Sun reported that Maryland’s state Senate unanimously passed a bill sending $580 million to Bowie State University, Coppin State University, Morgan State University and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore over the next 10 years. House Speaker Adrienne A. Jones’ funding proposal had already passed the state’s House of Delegates by a veto-proof 129-2 margin.
The Sun reports:
The money would help the schools create academic programs, expand scholarships, recruit faculty and market the schools.
The legislation is designed to force the state to settle a long-running lawsuit that alleges Maryland’s government made decisions that harmed the viability of historically black colleges and universities.
Sen. Obie Patterson, a Prince George’s County Democrat, called the legislation “a great, great compromise bill.”
”Certainly, there will be some who say we didn’t go far enough or we didn’t get as much as we could,” Patterson said, before adding that he had spoken with leaders of the schools. “They assured me they were pleased with the progress we made.”