Maryland Governor Larry Hogan has signed a bill that will give $577 million to the state’s four historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs).
This is a huge win for Bowie State, Coppin State, Morgan State and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, the four universities that have been fighting for financial justice for 15 years, according to The Baltimore Sun. More than a decade ago, the schools filed a lawsuit against the state of Maryland, stating they were placed at a disadvantage compared to the financial resources allotted to predominantly white colleges and universities.
The lawsuit was initiated by Morgan alumni, reports The Baltimore Sun. “Morgan and our other HBCUs have been pulling the weight in this state in terms of creating a Black middle class and we have been doing it without due respect,” said David Wilson, president of the University. “So, the money is great. We need that, but respect, as well.”
ESSENCE spoke with Morgan State University alumna and Baltimore freelance journalist Sinead Hawkins, who said ”from my experience of attending an HBCU, I’ve discussed with other alum who also attended historically Black institutions that HBCUs lack funding and resources that most traditional schools take for granted.”
Hogan previously stated that $200 million would be enough to settle the lawsuit filed against the Maryland, but the universities fought back. Governor Hogan on Wednesday signed the bill into law during a ceremony held at Bowie State University while the presidents of the four Universities watched. The bill states the money will be distributed among the four universities over the course of a decade. The schools will now receive an extra $57.7 million in funding each year for the next 10 years. The disbursement will begin in 2023 and will be divided by the four Black universities.
“As an HBCU alumna, I was very happy to hear HBCUS get the funding that they deserve,” Hawkins added. It is long overdue and I’m happy to see moving forward, new students will be able to receive quality programs that are developed in advance to help them become well developed individuals that will give back to the world.”