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Washington Post: States Should Fix Underfunding of Land-Grant HBCUs, Biden Administration Says
From The Washington Post
The secretaries of education and agriculture on Monday sent joint letters to the governors of 16 states, urging them to rectify decades of underfunding to historically Black land-grant universities as a new analysis shows the colleges have collectively received some $12.6 billion less than they should have.
Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said in a statement Monday …
Unacceptable funding inequities have forced many of our nation’s distinguished historically Black colleges and universities to operate with inadequate resources and delay critical investments in everything from campus infrastructure to research and development to student support services,” “To compete in the 21st century we need state leaders to step up and live up to their legally required obligations to our historically Black land-grant institutions.
The letters, signed by Cardona and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, were sent to the governors of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia. The move comes as advocates for historically Black colleges and universities have for years pushed states to increase funding for the institutions, sometimes going to court for relief.
The nation’s land-grant universities are the backbone of public higher education, a collection of schools founded in the 19th century on federal land to further agricultural instruction and research. They include Big Ten institutions and other flagship universities that have benefited from state and federal investment. States are obligated under federal law to provide an equitable distribution of state funding for all land-grant universities, but many have shortchanged the historically Black ones. And advocates for HBCUs say the federal government has looked the other way for too long.