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Bill Proposed By State Senate Could Close Three HBCUs Including Jackson State and Alcorn State 

A proposed cost-cutting bill in the #Mississippi Senate aims to shut down three state-funded higher education institutions by June 20, 2028. Under the legislation, the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning would be tasked with choosing three out of eight existing universities for closure, considering various factors such as enrollment, graduation rates, offered degrees, and local economic impact. 

The board must conduct campus listening sessions and announce decisions by June 20, 2025. Notably, three historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) are among the targeted schools. The institutions at risk include Alcorn State University, Delta State University, and Jackson State University, among others. If a college shuts down, its assets may be transferred to another state agency or nonprofit, while research institutes or laboratories could be relocated to other schools. 

In a letter dated September 18, 2023, U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Thomas Vilsack highlighted a staggering shortfall of $257,807,216 in agricultural funds owed to Alcorn State University by the State of Mississippi over the past three decades. Black people comprise around 98 percent of Alcorn State's enrollees and were awarded 610 degrees in 2021.

Although the bill is still in committee, its passage could significantly alter the higher education landscape in the state. Mississippi's low college graduation rates, ranking 49th in the nation with only 22.8% of residents holding bachelor's degrees or higher, highlight this legislation's importance and potential impact, highlighting broader educational challenges within the state.


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