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Lawsuit Looks At Possible Racial Divide In Higher Education

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Is there a racial divide in higher education in Maryland?

The state’s historically black colleges and universities say yes. They say that they’re underfunded by more than $2 billion.

Mary Bubala reports.

A landmark $2.1 billion lawsuit pits Maryland’s historically black colleges and universities, like Morgan State, against the Maryland Higher Education Commission.

“At the core of this is simply racism. The failure of the leadership to value the African-American citizenry in Maryland,” said Dr. Maurice Taylor, VP, Morgan State University.  

The lawsuit says over a decade Maryland has shortchanged its HBCUs $2.19 billion in revenue that would have gone to thing like campus infrastructure, teacher salaries, technology upgrades and student aid.

Maryland has four HBCUs: Morgan State University, Bowie State University, Coppin State University and The University of Maryland, Eastern Shore.

Students from these universities say they can see the underfunding first-hand.

“Can you imagine the possibilities, can you imagine all the great accomplishments we could have had if we had these smart classrooms, if we had all the Mac laptops that Towson has, when our students can barely get laptops here,” said Rashad Staton, junior, Morgan State University.

“We’ve been promised resources and money and funding for the last 15 to 25 years,” said Daquan Lawrence, senior, Morgan State University.

The six-week trial ended last week, and now the students at Morgan State University and at Maryland’s other HBCUs are waiting for the judge to make a decision.

If the lawsuit goes their way, the students say there’s a lot of catching up to do.

“You look around and it looks like it’s growing and it looks like there is growth. It’s years of fighting but we are still years behind,” said Alvin Hill, junior, Morgan State University.

A final ruling from U.S. District Judge Catherine Black is expected sometime this summer.

More from Mary Bubala
Comments

One Comment

  1. 1-0-3-0 WITHERSPOON says:

    WHY ARE MY TAX DOLLARS GOING TO JUNIORS SCHOOLING. I OWE YOUR KID NOTHING JACK

  2. TJ PARKVILLE says:

    O NO NOT THE RACIAL CARD. THAT SHIP SAILED OUT A LONG TIME AGO THE PRESIDENT IS CUTTING SPENDING , OBAMMA IS HALF ITALIAN AND HALF BLACK, HIS WIFE IS DISBARRED, FROM PRACTICING LAW SHE IS OUT OF WORK BUT PARTYING WITH THE ROLLING STONES ,SHE CAN CARE LESS ABOUT YOUR SCHOOLING. IT’S NOT A BLACK OR WHITE ISSUE IT IS $$$$$$$

    1. robbie j says:

      Go back to school..or at least read a current newspaper, P.S. maybe you can get someone to read it to you

      1. BIG JAKE,and brother el-wood says:

        robbie j this is loud and clear and black and white, but the feds are broke so sue someone with money put that in your papper and smoke it

      2. AFRICAN AMERICAN SUE FOR FREE EDUCATION says:

        RJ,,,,,,that is a good one sue the folks that aren’t giving you free money,,,,RJ that newspapper you must be rolling it up and smoking,rj is it raining out are you just peeing on your own leg

  3. RAUCHEL says:

    THIS SCHOOL IS ALL BLACK AND YOU WANT TO BRING UP RACE,,,,,WHAT A JOKE

    1. Justin says:

      this school is historically black, there are hispanics, whites, asians, chinese here as well, do some research

  4. TERRY says:

    LET ME GET THIS RIGHT THIS COLLEGE IS SUING BECAUSE THEY BEEN TURNED DOWN FROM GETTING FREE MONEY. WHAT HAPPENED TO PAY YOUR OWN WAY, NO ENTITLEMENTS UNLESS EARNED THROUGH R.O.T.C. THIS COLLEGE SHOULD BE SUED FOR STUPITY

    1. Justin says:

      its not just morgan state, its every HBCU in the state of maryland, if you look at University of Maryland in College Park, their campus is like a village. They have a farm! and not only that, plenty of money. Towson University is larger and have better equipment. It does not even seem fair honestly; this isnt a new issue. This was brought up many years ago and was put aside. HBCU`s are bringing it back and im fine with that. As a student at Morgan State University Majoring in Music, concentration in vocal performance, i would like to have to best opportunity to succeed

      1. Stupidity Rules says:

        I drive by Morgan State everyday to and from work. There has been building constuction going on there for the last 10 years so do not talk about underfunding. How about the college getting proactive with some of those minds that are no longer being wasted instead of demanding a handout from the tax payers.

    2. Morgan Robinson says:

      I dont think you understand that some people cannot go to school without some type of aid and it’s not fair that hbcu professors make less .

    3. iHeartMyHBCU says:

      You should be sued IGNORANCE. The fact remains that the state of Maryland does not EQUALLY fund their universities.

  5. MAGGIE says:

    I HAVE A PROBLEM WITH MY TAX MONEY GOING TO ANY COLLEGE FOR STUDENTS. YOU GOTTA PAY FOR SCHOOLING SINCE WHEN WAS MY TAXES GO TO FUND SOMEONE KID . I HAVE TO SEND MY OWN KIDS , NO ONE IS HELPING ME,,,,,MAYBE I’AM THE WRONG COLOR

    1. Morgan Robinson says:

      I really dont see why you have a problem with helping a student get through college. I personally do not have the funds to go to school without the state’s help. At least your money is goin to a great cause. Im pretty sure your kids got some type of financial aid and if not it is because you make to much.

    2. Have you heard of the US Military Academy at West Point, The US Naval Academy in Annapolis or The Air Force and Coast Guard Academies? All of you people saying you refuse to pay for any child’s education, you are already.

  6. Brian says:

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/nov/16/maryland-board-trumps-franchot-on-steinways-for-bo/

    They didn’t get their fair share?? How about the $550,000 the state gave Bowie to purchase brand new Steinway pianos for their NEW performing arts building??

  7. Ricci Adams says:

    As a women of color. I am not sure why Historic Black Universities should receive more money, I did some research and determined that these Universities are not using their money wisely. The best University in Maryland is UMBC and it has a black president. Bowie Students arn’t paying (http://www.ola.state.md.us/Reports/Fiscal%20Compliance/BSU11.pdf), Morgan is just giving Money away (http://www.ola.state.md.us/Reports/Fiscal%20Compliance/MSU11.pdf), and Coppin is not collecting student bills or controlling spending (http://www.ola.state.md.us/Reports/Fiscal%20Compliance/Coppin10.pdf).

    UMBC is the best University and it has a black president. If you want a good education work hard in school and go to the University that is goiing to give you the best education.

    1. Stupidity Rules says:

      Here…Here Ricci and Amen to that. There are so many people now who feel they are entitled to things that should be earned through work.

  8. Gina Mason says:

    since these colleges are “predominately black” and they want money…what if another college comes up to say they are “predominately white” or “predominatley American Indian”- boy would the NAACP jump all over that and scream discrimination, but because the schools are “predominately black” they can protest and demand more money – get real. If you want a good education, go to a good college. Stop the handouts to illegal immagrants and put that money in all colleges.

  9. Gina Mason says:

    sorry, i get so mad about this discrimination thing with the blacks, i spelled immigrants wrong. Where i live it is the black people who are racists,

  10. Tenneille BSU Alumni 2008 says:

    You pay taxes that federally fund all University of Maryland systems schools. If you live in MD. These schools are :
    Bowie State University
    Coppin State University
    Frostburg State University
    Salisbury University
    Morgan State University
    Towson University
    University of Baltimore
    University of Maryland, Baltimore
    University of Maryland, Baltimore County
    University of Maryland, College Park
    University of Maryland Eastern Shore
    University of Maryland University College
    University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science

    But the money is not evenly distributed. You all help the Majority of these student, at ALL of these school get an education.

    I tell ya, ignorance is bliss

    1. Simpson Fan says:

      Morgan is not a University System School. That is why they run take advantage of everything. They do not play by the same rules as the other schools.

      1. Stupidity Rules says:

        Morgan State University is not a University system school??? Then what is it?

      2. Ricci Adams says:

        Morgan like St. Mary’s College of Maryland (SMCM) are independent state agencies and are not within the University of Maryland System (http://www.usmd.edu/institutions/). These two Universities do not have to follow or adhere to the fiscal, academic, and oversight controls established by the University of Maryland System. SMCM is a safe haven for political types (Ms. Kennedy-Towson was at one time even going to be considered to be president of the College). Both of these institutes are running a muck and should be added to the University System of Maryland. They will both object, in the same manner as unsupervised children.

  11. Ricci Adams says:

    Morgan like St. Mary’s College of Maryland (SMCM) are independent state agencies and are not within the University of Maryland System (http://www.usmd.edu/institutions/). These two Universities do not have to follow or adhere to the fiscal, academic, and oversight controls established by the University of Maryland System. SMCM is a safe haven for political types (Ms. Kennedy-Towson was at one time even going to be considered to be president of the College). Both of these institutes are running a muck and should be added to the University System of Maryland. They will both object, in the same manner as unsupervised children.

  12. MD DAD says:

    What your saying Ricci is true. When the State of Maryland’s University System was attempting to bring all of the state’s universities under the system, Morgan refused and fought the to prevent that from happening. This was some time ago. Not everybody has such a short memory when it comes to certain events (like this) taking place from the past. Maybe Morgan’s President is hoping that it has been so long ago that everyone has forgotten about this. If Morgan got on board like it should have when the opportunity was available, maybe the funding would have been more equitable.

  13. MD DAD says:

    Correction: Morgan refused and fought to prevent….

  14. hooty-hoot says:

    Clearly, there is no racial divide in education among commenters in this forum.

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