North Carolina Senate Backs Off Plan That Could Have Killed a Black College

June 2, 2014

The North Carolina Senate dropped plans to call for a study that could have led to the closure of Elizabeth City State University, a historically black institution. The study provision, which was presented as a cost-saving measure, would have required the University of North Carolina Board of Governors to study closing any institution that saw an enrollment drop of at least 20 percent from 2010 to 2013. Black lawmakers last week protested the attempt, which was included in a draft of the state's budget bill, and noted that Elizabeth City State is the only part of the UNC system that would be covered by the provision. Further, they say that if the provision becomes law, students may be reluctant to enroll. 

Senator Bill Cook, a state lawmaker who filed the amendment that lawmakers approved to kill the study plan, said in a statement that Elizabeth City State had its "fair share of problems in the past few years, but I do not think this study is the best way to begin addressing them. I have prepared an amendment and after my discussion with Senate leadership they have agreed to support the elimination of the provision completely from the budget.”

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