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Maryland HBCU Equity Lawsuit Heads to Trial

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The trial of the state of Maryland on charges levied by former state-supported HBCU students and alums alleging a violation of a federal-state desegregation agreement begins today.

The group claims the state’s higher education commission devoted millions of dollars over decades to “traditionally white institutions” that offer educational programs duplicating those from the black colleges. The overlapping offerings have made it difficult for the black schools, whose facilities often aren’t as up to date as the white schools, to recruit and retain the best students and faculty members, the plaintiffs say.

The state denies the allegations and plans to show at the trial that there is no inequity in funding between the four historically black colleges and universities — Morgan State University, Coppin State University, Bowie State University and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore — and the traditionally white institutions including University of Maryland, College Park; Towson University; and Salisbury University.