Land-grant, historically Black colleges and universities have been deprived of over $13 billion in funds over the last thirty years, as per recent communications from the Biden administration to 16 state governors, urging increased investment in these institutions.
Education Secretary Miguel Cardona and Agriculture Secretary Thomas Vilsack addressed letters to the governors of 16 states, highlighting the shortfall in funding based on data from the National Center for Education Statistics.
The inadequacy in financial support, as emphasized by Cardona and Vilsack, could have significantly benefited infrastructure, student services, and enhanced the universities' competitiveness in research grant acquisition. Underfunding hinders these HBCUs from adequately serving students, their respective states, and the nation as a whole.
The referenced educational institutions were established under the Morrill Acts, which allocated land for the creation of public colleges and universities. Subsequent discrimination against Black students led to the 1890 Morrill Act, mandating equal consideration for Black students or the establishment of separate land-grant schools. These included prominent institutions like Alabama A&M University, Florida A&M University, Southern University and A&M College and North Carolina A&T State University, among others.
Disparities in funding between majority-Black and majority-white land-grant institutions in states like #Florida, #Louisiana, #Tennessee, #Texas, and #NorthCarolina ranged from $1 to $2 billion. Cardona and Vilsack acknowledged the longstanding nature of this problem and expressed a desire to collaborate with states to address this issue, aiming to prevent the need for costly litigation.
Inequities in funding and resources within the education system are part of a broader issue of systemic inequities within the United States. These disparities in education funding are often a reflection of deeper historical and structural inequalities that exist in American society.
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