$100M Settlement Offered in Maryland HBCU Lawsuit

February 9, 2018

Maryland’s governor offered as much as $100 million over 10 years to historically black universities, attempting to end a long-running lawsuit over whether the state caused segregation at historically black institutions by allowing predominantly white universities to duplicate successful programs.

The settlement proposal is more than twice an amount offered earlier in the case, which stretches back to 2006, The Washington Post reported. Governor Larry Hogan offered the proposal Wednesday, a day after a federal judge granted a temporary reprieve as the state appeals an order from November. The November order would have created new high-demand programs at Maryland’s four historically black institutions and forced funding for them under court supervision.

In a letter, Hogan’s chief legal counsel called the new settlement proposal a serious commitment he believes goes “well beyond what the law requires.” But the top lawyer for the coalition that sued the state said the offer does not address the fact that more than 122 academic programs at traditionally white institutions are unduplicated elsewhere in the state system, compared to only 11 at historically black institutions. He called for new programs at historically black institutions and state commitments against unnecessary duplications.

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