Maryland's HBCU's Protest Long-Standing Lawsuit - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Maryland's HBCU's Protest Long-Standing Lawsuit

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ANNAPOLIS, Md.- Maryland's four historically black colleges and universities protested in Annapolis on Wednesday to pressure Gov. Larry Hogan to settle a 13-year lawsuit that centers around insufficient funding.

The lawsuit, which was filed by alumni and activists of the four HBCU's, alleges the state insufficiently funded their schools while funding other traditional state schools that duplicated their programs. 

While the governor has stood firm, students and alumni went to the state's capital to say the time to resolve the matter is long overdue.

This includes Deborah Hayman, president of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore National Alumni Association, who was in attendance Wednesday.

"A perfect example is our Hotel Restaurant Management Program," she said. "To see it duplicated and other campuses have more resources than UMES, which is the flagship center, we want to see our program flourish."

Hogan says he's willing to settle the lawsuit for $200 million, but the HBCU's are asking for $577 million or more. 

In the past, Hogan has cited concerns with the state's budget for holding off on a higher settlement amount.

"As governor it is my responsibility to protect the state's finances especially as we face the prospect of a national economic downturn," Hogan said in an earlier statement. 

Following Wednesday's protest, Hogan's press secretary told WBOC:

“After failing to resolve this matter for eight years, the O'Malley administration's final offer was $40 million. The Hogan-Rutherford administration has dramatically increased the state’s offer to $200 million--a 500 percent increase. In addition, we have provided historically high funding for Maryland's HBCUs, and HBCUs are now better funded than other state schools. Governor Hogan has shown real leadership on this issue where others have repeatedly failed over the years.” 

 

But the HBCU's say this is not enough, and is certainly not enough to be shared amongst four institutions.

If the lawsuit is settled, the schools say they plan to use the money toward new programs, professors and scholarships.

 

 

 

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