Maryland’s Historical Black universities’ lawsuit against Maryland comes to trial

January 4, 2012


Judge Hears Case Over Maryland Funding Of Historical Black Colleges and Universities
Associated Press
BALTIMORE — Attorneys arguing that Maryland’s history of racially-segregated higher education is ongoing used decades-old state reports to try to make their point as a federal trial began.
The Coalition for Equity and Excellence in Maryland Higher Education alleges that practices carried over from the days of segregation at the state’s higher education commission put historically black schools at a competitive disadvantage. The coalition said there is unnecessary duplication of specialized programs offered at historically black schools, as well as funding disparities.
Maryland has appointed blue ribbon commission after blue ribbon commission to get its historically black colleges and universities “out of the hole Maryland’s policies have put them in,” attorney Michael Jones said in his opening statements.
Jones presented a series of state reports dating to the 1930s, detailing inferior funding and in many cases calling for improved funding. The reports also detail remedies including expanding offerings and creating programs that are not offered at other schools to help attract more students of all races, steps similar to those sought by the plaintiffs.
“Maryland really has no defenses in this case,” Jones said.

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