By Annie Rose Ramos

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Students and alumni from Maryland’s four historically black colleges rallied Wednesday for a resolution to a 13-year-old federal lawsuit over disparities in academic programs.

Advocates say Maryland fostered segregation by allowing better-funded academic programs at traditionally white universities, undermining historically black schools.

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Lawyers representing the HBCU coalition proposed the state pay over $577 million.

Gov. Larry Hogan says that $200 million over a 10-year period is his, “final offer.”

But schools say it isn’t enough, arguing HBCUs need that much money to develop unique, in-demand academic programs that will attract students of all races.

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“We need buildings, renovations. We need funding for programming, scholarships,” those at the rally told WJZ. “We need more.”

The state and schools were unable to reach a settlement after a court-ordered mediation earlier this year.

Now, the debate has moved to the public arena.

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If the state and the schools can’t come to an agreement, the case will head to the federal appeals court.

Annie Rose Ramos