HBCUs vs Maryland A 12-year court battle over racial equality enters next phase

A PROPOSAL FOR THE DISBURSEMENT OF ENHANCEMENT FUNDS FOR MARYLAND'S FOUR PUBLIC HISTORICALLY BLACK COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES

FROM THE AFRO-Update on HBCU Coalition’s Lawsuit Against Maryland

FROM THE AFRO-Update on HBCU Coalition’s Lawsuit Against Maryland

By Marvin L. ‘Doc’ Cheatham, Sr., Special to the AFRO


In 2006, a coalition of HBCU students, alumni and other HBCU supporters filed a lawsuit in the Maryland Federal District Court against the State of Maryland alleging that the State had failed to make HBCUs comparable and competitive with their White counterparts.


Specifically, the Coalition for Equity and Excellence in Maryland Higher Education maintained that the State was in violation of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act 1964 and the Fordice decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in duplicating the academic programs of Historically Black Institutions at nearby predominantly White campuses; limiting HBI missions; failing to provide appropriate facilities and underfunding the overall development of the four Historically Black Institutions (HBIs).


After a failed attempt at mediation of the issues, the case went to trial in January 2012. In October 2013, Judge Catherine Blake ruled that in maintaining the practice of unnecessary program duplication between HBIs and Traditionally White Universities, Maryland continues to operate a dual and segregated system of higher education, in violation of the U.S. Constitution and to the harm of the HBIs and their students. The judge asserted that the violation must be remedied and suggested that the Coalition and the state attempt to resolve it through mediation.

Dr. Marvin L. Cheatham

Dr.-Marvin-L.-Cheatham2.jpg 
Unfortunately, the post-trial mediation– like the pretrial mediation– was not successful, so the Court convened again in February 2017 to hear arguments on appropriation remedies for transforming Maryland’s dual system of higher education into a unitary or single system of colleges and universities.


In November 2017, the judge issued an order providing for the establishment of new unique and high demand programs at each of the HBIs to form niches or specialty areas that would give the HBIs identities beyond their racial history. The judge’s order also provided for the appointment of a special master to work with the HBIs, Coalition experts and others in determining what the niches should be, any facilities that would be needed, and how much the enhancement effort would cost.


Included among the duties of the special master is the responsibility to monitor the implementation of the court’s remedial plan to ensure that it proceeds in accordance with a schedule to be approved by the court. The judge stipulated further that funding be provided for student financial aid, marketing and recruitment and the State was to abandon the practice of unnecessary program duplication which had led to the massive disparity in academic programs between Traditionally White Institutions and the HBIs.


Notwithstanding decades of petitions from the HBIs; the recommendations of several state commissions and outside consultants; the Fordice ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court and the November 2017 Federal District Court ruling against Maryland specifically, Maryland’s failure to accept responsibility for the harm it continues to do to HBIs and their students. State lawmakers seem to believe that the future of higher education in the State depends primarily on development of traditionally White campuses at the expense of its HBIs.


In January of this year Attorney General Brian Frosh appealed the judge’s decision to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals. Subsequently, attorneys for the Coalition appealed the judge’s positions on HBI missions, facilities and funding. Meanwhile the Governor has since sent a letter to the Maryland Legislative Black Caucus offering $100 million over ten years to settle the lawsuit.

The irony is that attorneys for the State estimate the cost of the Coalition’s plan to fix the problem is between $1-2 billion and, for the Coalition to accept $100 million to settle as much as a $2 billion problem would be a downright betrayal of our students, faculty, alumni and others who have historically suffered the injustices of the State’s neglect.


This case has been going on for more than 12 years but the injustice to the HBIs and their students has endured since public education in the State began and the Hogan-Frosh appeal can only delay addressing the injustice. Therefore, we are calling upon the Governor, the attorney general and the leadership of the Maryland General Assembly to withdraw the appeal and begin immediately to implement Judge Blake’s order.


Dr. Marvin L. ‘Doc’ Cheatham, Sr. is a civil rights and election law consultant and convener of the Maryland H.B.C.U. Matters’ Coalition.

 

FROM BLACK PRESS USA- ORAL ARGUMENTS SCHEDULED FOR HBCU-MARYLAND INEQUALITY CASE

FROM BLACK PRESS USA- ORAL ARGUMENTS SCHEDULED FOR HBCU-MARYLAND INEQUALITY CASE

November 25, 2018 Stacy M. Brown 

HBCU_CASE.jpg

For little over a decade, the alumni from Morgan State University, Coppin State University, University of Maryland Eastern Shore and Bowie State University have been locked in litigation with the state to dismantle what they say is racial segregation, causing a federal judge to appoint a special official to craft a plan to increase diversity at Maryland’s historically black colleges.

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Correspondent
@StacyBrownMedia


A coalition of HBCU students, alumni and others from Maryland are planning to pack the Fourth District Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia next month for oral arguments in a decades-old lawsuit over inequality in public higher education.


“We are reaching out and calling on at least 200 HBCU supporters to join us in Richmond on Dec. 11,” said HBCU Matters Chairman, Marvin “Doc” Cheatham.


The coalition has chartered buses to leave from each of the four HBCU campuses in Maryland on the morning of the arguments.
“The students are very actively advocating on behalf of all four of the HBCUs in Maryland. Morgan State has held two rallies thus far and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore had their Rally Saturday the 17th,” said Zattura Sims-El, one of many advocates for HBCUs in Maryland.


“Bowie and Coppin are currently planning rallies for each campus. The students from all four universities are communicating with each other for one purpose and that is the have Gov. Hogan withdraw the appeal, he and only he has the power and authority to do so,” Sims-El said.


A coalition of alumni from Maryland’s four HBCUs have been involved in a lawsuit since 2006 with the state.


Coalition members argue that Maryland has underfunded Morgan State University, Coppin State University, Bowie State University and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, and allowed other state schools to duplicate their programs, placing pressure on enrollment.


Published reports suggest that over the years, the coalition has called for increased funding and merging the University of Baltimore with Morgan State, the state’s largest public historically black school, to achieve parity.


A year ago, a federal judge asked the state to remedy the lack of investment in Maryland’s HBCUs, ordering the state to establish a set of new, unique and high-demand programs at each historically black institution, the judge declared.


Despite that court order, settlement talks have stalled, and Maryland hasn’t accepted the court-ordered remedies for HBCUs.
“While the Maryland HBCU case is still in mediation, due to the State’s refusal to accept the judge’s ruling, the Maryland HBCU Matters Coalition is hard at work,” Cheatham said.


In 2013, Judge Catherine Blake, U.S. District Court of Maryland, found the state in violation of 14th Amendment rights of its HBCU students and alumni.


Her ruling said Maryland continues to operate vestiges of a de jure system of segregation, specifically by continuing a longstanding practice of duplicating academic programs offered at HBCU’s, rather than investing in making the HBCU programs attractive to a diverse range of students.


By June 2017, after initial failed mediation between HBCU advocates and the state of Maryland, Blake ordered parties back into court.


In November of 2017, Blake reportedly issued an order providing for an administrator known as a special master to coordinate a comprehensive plan ensuring Maryland’s HBCU’s would be home to high quality academic programs.


“The Plan should propose a set of new unique and/or high demand programs at each HBI, taking into account each HBI’s areas of strength, physical building capacity and the programmatic niches suggested by the plaintiff’s experts,” Blake wrote in the November 2017 ruling.


According to The Afro, which has covered the story more extensively than any other media outlet, in December 2017, state Attorney General Brian Frosh gave notice that the state would appeal Blake’s ruling.


Frosh, who in prior years urged a mediated resolution to the long-standing HBCU lawsuit, attempted to explain why he’s now extending the legal battle.


“It’s my job to defend the state when it gets sued,” Frosh told HBCU protestors who rallied outside his office in the months following the State’s appeal.


In January, Gov. Larry Hogan, further complicated the State’s message toward HBCU’s by writing to Del. Cheryl Glenn, former chair of the Maryland Legislative Black Caucus (LBC), offering a $100 million-dollar settlement offer, according to The Afro.


While the LBC supports HBCU advocates, the Caucus is not an official party to the lawsuit.


Hogan’s $100 million proposal would be split between Bowie State University, Coppin State University, Morgan State University and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, The Afro reported.


His settlement offer stipulates a 10-year allocation period and relieves the State of responsibility for court costs. Each institution would receive approximately 2.5 million per school, per year.


However, the estimated cost of the Coalition’s Plan to remedy the imbalance in quality academic programming offered at HBCU’s is in the $1-2 billion range.


Hogan’s offer also falls short of the $500 million settlement between the State of Mississippi and plaintiffs representing Mississippi’s three public HBCU’s almost 20 years ago, back in 2001, ending higher education desegregation litigation dating back to the 1970’s in that state.


“The decision by Frosh to appeal the decision from Federal District Court Judge Blake has elevated this issue to the US Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit,” said Maryland advocate Brandon F. Cooper.


“If that Appeals Court also upholds the District Court decision, Frosh could decide to appeal again and then it lands in the U.S Supreme Court. Any decision from the U.S Supreme Court would impact every HBCU, not just those in Maryland,” said Cooper, a member of the Maryland Republican Party Executive Committee.
Cooper said the matter counts as a bipartisan issue and he brought the HBCU attorneys in to testify before the Republican Caucus in the Maryland legislature.


“HBCUs have long enjoyed bipartisan support in states, Congress and the White House,” Cooper said. “However, President Donald Trump has sent mix signals on his continuance of the historically bipartisan support of HBCUs,” he said.


One HBCU alumni said he knows well what a battle between a historically black institution and the state looks like.
In an email, Matthews “Billy” Wright recalled a 50 year-old incident at Coppin State.


“As a [Student Government Association] officer in 1968 we, as student representatives, organized and executed a successful four-week boycott of the campus at Coppin State College and moved the student body to an off-campus site to complete the school year,” Wright said.


“Professors joined in the teaching process of seniors teaching juniors and so on to demonstrate and challenge the state that Coppin, as an HBCU, was being denied funding at the level of the University of Maryland, Towson, and Salisbury. Our cause attracted television anchors, and the governor-to-be Marvin Mandel,” he said.


Wright continued:


“Through their efforts and our four-week boycott, Coppin SGA officers were provided time to address the Maryland Legislative Assembly. Student demands were considered, funding promises were made and in some instances kept, seniors and all students completed their graduation and matriculation for the year. We were respectful of the campus and President Parlett L. Moore. The ’68-’69 classes were true to their goals.”

 

 

 

FROM DIVERSE- HBCU Advocates Prepare for Oral Arguments in Maryland Inequality Case

HBCU Advocates Prepare for Oral Arguments in Maryland Inequality Case

November 27, 2018 | :

by Tiffany Pennamon

The Fourth District Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments next month in a 12-year-old education inequality lawsuit between the state of Maryland and a coalition from the state’s four public historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs).


After submitting closing briefs last month after the state appealed District Court Judge Catherine C. Blake’s November 2017 ruling, the coalition from Morgan State University (MSU), Coppin State University (CSU), Bowie State University (BSU) and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) are now calling for students, alumni and other HBCU advocates to attend the oral arguments on Dec. 11 in Richmond, VA.


Coalition members are calling for a minimum of 200 HBCU students, alumni and advocates to fill the courtroom and plan to have charter buses leave from each of the four institutions, according to The AFRO.


“Morgan State has held two rallies thus far and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore had their rally Saturday the 17th. Bowie and Coppin are currently planning rallies for each campus,” HBCU advocate Zattura Sims-El told The AFRO. “The students from all four universities are communicating with each other for one purpose and that is the have Gov. [Larry] Hogan withdraw the appeal, he and only he has the power and authority to do so.”


Plaintiffs in The Coalition for Equity and Excellence in Maryland Higher Education v. Maryland Higher Education Commission case – which has been ongoing since 2006 –argue that Maryland has operated a “de jure system of segregation in higher education.”


In 2013, Blake ruled that the state violated the 14th Amendment rights of HBCU students and alumni by allowing predominantly White institutions (PWI) to duplicate in-demand academic programs at HBCUs instead of investing in already existing programs.


And in November 2017, with both parties unable to come to an agreement, Blake ordered that the state appoint a “Special Master” that would develop and monitor the implementation of a 10-year remedial plan for HBCUs. The plan outline included the development of unique and/or high demand programs compatible with each HBCU’s areas of strength and building capacity; annual funding for each HBCU for marketing, student recruitment, financial aid and other initiatives for five to ten years; and the requirement that any new program at a PWI be reviewed by the Special Master so that it does not harm programs at any Maryland HBCU.

Gov. Hogan offered $100 million to settle the lawsuit in February and announced plans to appeal Blake’s order for a remedial plan. Michael D. Jones, a partner at Kirkland & Ellis LLP and counsel for the HBCU coalition said the offer was a “step in the journey to remedying decades of programmatic disparities at Maryland’s four [historically Black institutions],” but not the end of the journey, he said in a statement at the time.


Now, the case will be argued in the Fourth District Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals with the potential to go as far as the U.S. Supreme Court should either party appeal the next court ruling.


Matthew B. Fraling, legal counsel and government relations officer at Coppin State, said that it is faculty members like Dr. Charlotte Wood who are keeping students informed about the case. While there has been no formal town hall meeting on campus, faculty pass along information about the case to students and there are plans for students and other supporters to take a chartered bus to hear oral arguments next month, Fraling said.


The case involving Maryland’s public HBCUs has similarities to previous segregation and programmatic duplication lawsuits in Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama and Louisiana. Should another appeal be filed and this current case go to the Supreme Court, the highest court’s ruling would have significant implications for the more than one hundred HBCUs in the country.
“I would suspect that it’s going to be broad-reaching,” Fraling said.


Tiffany Pennamon can be reached at tpennamon@diverseeducation.com. You can follow her on Twitter @tiffanypennamon.

 

Oral Arguments Scheduled for HBCU-Maryland Inequality Case

FROM THE AFRO- By NNPA Newswire Correspondent -
November 26, 2018

Oral Arguments Scheduled for HBCU-Maryland Inequality Case

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Correspondent, @StacyBrownMedia


A coalition of HBCU students, alumni and others from Maryland are planning to pack the Fourth District Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia next month for oral arguments in a decades-old lawsuit over inequality in public higher education.


“We are reaching out and calling on at least 200 HBCU supporters to join us in Richmond on Dec. 11,” said HBCU Matters Chairman, Marvin “Doc” Cheatham.


The coalition has chartered buses to leave from each of the four HBCU campuses in Maryland on the morning of the arguments.

HBCU_CASE.jpg

For little over a decade, the alumni from Morgan State University, Coppin State University, University of Maryland Eastern Shore and Bowie State University have been locked in litigation with the state to dismantle what they say is racial segregation, causing a federal judge to appoint a special official to craft a plan to increase diversity at Maryland’s historically black colleges./AFRO Photo/Deborah Bailey

 

“The students are very actively advocating on behalf of all four of the HBCUs in Maryland. Morgan State has held two rallies thus far and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore had their Rally Saturday the 17th,” said Zattura Sims-El, one of many advocates for HBCUs in Maryland.


“Bowie and Coppin are currently planning rallies for each campus. The students from all four universities are communicating with each other for one purpose and that is the have Gov. Hogan withdraw the appeal, he and only he has the power and authority to do so,” Sims-El said.


A coalition of alumni from Maryland’s four HBCUs have been involved in a lawsuit since 2006 with the state.
Coalition members argue that Maryland has underfunded Morgan State University, Coppin State University, Bowie State University and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, and allowed other state schools to duplicate their programs, placing pressure on enrollment.

Published reports suggest that over the years, the coalition has called for increased funding and merging the University of Baltimore with Morgan State, the state’s largest public historically black school, to achieve parity.


A year ago, a federal judge asked the state to remedy the lack of investment in Maryland’s HBCUs, ordering the state to establish a set of new, unique and high-demand programs at each historically black institution, the judge declared.


Despite that court order, settlement talks have stalled, and Maryland hasn’t accepted the court-ordered remedies for HBCUs.


“While the Maryland HBCU case is still in mediation, due to the State’s refusal to accept the judge’s ruling, the Maryland HBCU Matters Coalition is hard at work,” Cheatham said.

In 2013, Judge Catherine Blake, U.S. District Court of Maryland, found the state in violation of 14th Amendment rights of its HBCU students and alumni.


Her ruling said Maryland continues to operate vestiges of a de jure system of segregation, specifically by continuing a longstanding practice of duplicating academic programs offered at HBCU’s, rather than investing in making the HBCU programs attractive to a diverse range of students.


By June 2017, after initial failed mediation between HBCU advocates and the state of Maryland, Blake ordered parties back into court.


In November of 2017, Blake reportedly issued an order providing for an administrator known as a special master to coordinate a comprehensive plan ensuring Maryland’s HBCU’s would be home to high quality academic programs.


“The Plan should propose a set of new unique and/or high demand programs at each HBI, taking into account each HBI’s areas of strength, physical building capacity and the programmatic niches suggested by the plaintiff’s experts,” Blake wrote in the November 2017 ruling.

According to The Afro, which has covered the story more extensively than any other media outlet, in December 2017, state Attorney General Brian Frosh gave notice that the state would appeal Blake’s ruling.


Frosh, who in prior years urged a mediated resolution to the long-standing HBCU lawsuit, attempted to explain why he’s now extending the legal battle.


“It’s my job to defend the state when it gets sued,” Frosh told HBCU protestors who rallied outside his office in the months following the State’s appeal.


In January, Gov. Larry Hogan, further complicated the State’s message toward HBCU’s by writing to Del. Cheryl Glenn, former chair of the Maryland Legislative Black Caucus (LBC), offering a $100 million-dollar settlement offer, according to The Afro.
While the LBC supports HBCU advocates, the Caucus is not an official party to the lawsuit.

Hogan’s $100 million proposal would be split between Bowie State University, Coppin State University, Morgan State University and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, The Afro reported.


His settlement offer stipulates a 10-year allocation period and relieves the State of responsibility for court costs. Each institution would receive approximately 2.5 million per school, per year.


However, the estimated cost of the Coalition’s Plan to remedy the imbalance in quality academic programming offered at HBCU’s is in the $1-2 billion range.


Hogan’s offer also falls short of the $500 million settlement between the State of Mississippi and plaintiffs representing Mississippi’s three public HBCU’s almost 20 years ago, back in 2001, ending higher education desegregation litigation dating back to the 1970’s in that state.

“The decision by Frosh to appeal the decision from Federal District Court Judge Blake has elevated this issue to the US Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit,” said Maryland advocate Brandon F. Cooper.


“If that Appeals Court also upholds the District Court decision, Frosh could decide to appeal again and then it lands in the U.S Supreme Court. Any decision from the U.S Supreme Court would impact every HBCU, not just those in Maryland,” said Cooper, a member of the Maryland Republican Party Executive Committee.


Cooper said the matter counts as a bipartisan issue and he brought the HBCU attorneys in to testify before the Republican Caucus in the Maryland legislature.


“HBCUs have long enjoyed bipartisan support in states, Congress and the White House,” Cooper said. “However, President Donald Trump has sent mix signals on his continuance of the historically bipartisan support of HBCUs,” he said.


One HBCU alumni said he knows well what a battle between a historically black institution and the state looks like.
In an email, Matthews “Billy” Wright recalled a 50 year-old incident at Coppin State.


“As a [Student Government Association] officer in 1968 we, as student representatives, organized and executed a successful four-week boycott of the campus at Coppin State College and moved the student body to an off-campus site to complete the school year,” Wright said.


“Professors joined in the teaching process of seniors teaching juniors and so on to demonstrate and challenge the state that Coppin, as an HBCU, was being denied funding at the level of the University of Maryland, Towson, and Salisbury. Our cause attracted television anchors, and the governor-to-be Marvin Mandel,” he said.


Wright continued:
“Through their efforts and our four-week boycott, Coppin SGA officers were provided time to address the Maryland Legislative Assembly. Student demands were considered, funding promises were made and in some instances kept, seniors and all students completed their graduation and matriculation for the year. We were respectful of the campus and President Parlett L. Moore. The ’68-’69 classes were true to their goals.”

 

Sharpton: MD HBCU Coalition Bullet Points

                                                        Sharpton:  MD HBCU Coalition Bullet Points

 

                                                       Maryland appeals lower court finding for HBCUs

 

After decades of disparities between Maryland Historically Black Institutions of higher education and their White counterparts, a coalition of HBI students, faculty and alumni filed a lawsuit against the state of Maryland in 2006 claiming that perpetuated policies and practices that result in HBIs having limited missions, inadequate facilities, underfunding and unnecessary program duplication between its HBIs and Traditionally White Institutions. The litigation was initially filed in state Court and later transferred to the United States District Court for the District of Maryland.   

In October 2013 Federal court judge Catherine Blake ruled that Maryland continues to practice unnecessary program duplication among HBIs and TWIs and thus, was operating a dual and segregated system of higher education in violation of the Constitution of the United States.  The court noted that the disparity in unique programs between the TWIs and the HBIs was 122 to 11 and that unnecessary program duplication in Maryland was worse than in Mississippi when the famous United States v Fordice case was argued.

Four years later (November 2017) Judge Blake issued a remedial order providing for the development of program niche’s or unique specialty areas at each of the HBIs by which those institutions would be known and identified. The judge further ordered that the State of Maryland cease and desist from further practice of unnecessary program duplication and that a special master be appointed to ensure compliance.

The State argues that in finding Maryland in violation of the law the Judge misinterpreted Fordice and to implement her judgement would do harm to traditionally White campuses. Accordingly, Maryland is appealing to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn Judge Blake’s decision. The Coalition has responded with a cross appeal on the grounds that the judge’s reasoning behind the finding on unnecessary duplication also supports the limited mission and underfunding claims made by the Coalition.

A contingent of students, alumni and friends as well as members of African American sororities and fraternities will travel to Richmond, Virginia for the court hearing on Tuesday, December 11 at 9:30 in the morning.  

Meanwhile, HBIs and their students, faculty and staff continue to suffer the centuries old injustice of limited missions and programs; underinvestment and benign neglect while at the same time being “a gateway to opportunity and a stairway to excellence” for African Americans and other students regardless of race.




MD HBCU Radio Call-in to Radio Shows Initiative

MD HBCU Radio Call-in to Radio Shows Initiative

TENTATIVE/POSSIBLE EVENTS & CALL-IN OPPORTUNITIES TO LOCAL RADIO SHOWS
[requesting and waiting for confirmation] again tentative

Saturday, December 1, 2018 - 10:00 a.m.
Coppin State University - 2500 W. North Avenue
Science & Technology Bldg. - 1st floor

Monday, December 3, 2018 - 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
Ertha Harris - Tight Knit Show
WOLB - 1010 am - 410/481-1010 toll free 1/877-704-1010

Monday, December 3, 2018 - 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Patrick Henderson Show
WOLB - 1010 am - 410481-1010 toll Free 1/877/704-1010

Wednesday, December 5, 2018 - 1:00 - 2:00 p.m.
Carlton Douglass Show
WFBR - 1590 am - 410/761-1591

Thursday, December 6, 2018 - 12:00 noon
Lou Fields Show
WOLB - 1010 am - 410/481-1010 toll free 1/877-704-1010

Thursday, December 6, 2018 - 2 pm
Christine Flowers Show
WOLB 1010 am - 410/481-1010 toll free 1/877-704-1010

Friday, December 7, 2018 - 10 a.m. - 12:00 noon
Frank M. Conaway, Sr. et al Show
WOLB 1010 am - 410/481-1010 toll free 1/877-704-1010

Friday, December 7, 2018 – 2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
George M. Mitchell - Park Heights Show
WOLB 1010 am – 410/481-1010 toll free 1/877-704-1010

Saturday, December 8, 2018 - 11:00 a.m.
MD HBCU Students & Alumni
TO ANNAPOLIS, MD to See MD Gov. Hogan
WITHDRAW THE APPEAL

We need WEAA 88.9 fm Morgan State Radio and WBAL 1090 am C=4 Show

REV. AL SHARPTON SHOW
- MSNBC - Saturday and/or Sunday
WORKING ON IT - PRAY WE GET THIS NATIONAL TELEVISION SHOW

Thanks to Sen. Larry Young Morning Show for Everything

 

MD HBCU LAWSUIT TALKING POINTS

MD HBCU LAWSUIT TALKING POINTS

  • In 2006 a coalition of students, alumni, and supporters of HBCUs filed a lawsuit against the state of Maryland alleging that Maryland had violated the 14th Amendment of the US Constitution, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Fordice Decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in duplicating the academic programs of Coppin State University, Morgan State University, University of Maryland Eastern Shore and Bowie State University at nearby predominantly white institutions.
  • In October 2013 Maryland Federal Court Judge Catherine Blake ruled in favor of the HBCUs, stating that the state of Maryland continues to operate a segregated and unconstitutional system of higher education to the detriment of Historically Black Institutions.
  • Further the judge ruled in November 2017 that bringing the system into compliance with the law requires the State to establish a set of unique and high demand programs to form niches or specialty areas; to cease and desist from  the practice of unnecessary program duplication; and to work with a special master to identify the program niches to be established at each institutions and the associated costs. The state of Maryland chose to challenge Judge Blake’s decision and appealed the case to the United States Court of Appeals.
  • In addition, Governor Larry Hogan proposed in March 2018, to settle the case for only $100 million over a 10-year period or an annual supplement of $2.5 million dollars per HBI.
  • In 2001, Mississippi settled a similar case for three HBCUs (Jackson State University, Alcorn State University and Mississippi Valley State University) for $500 million which amounts to $850 million in today’s dollars.  When adjusted to include a fourth campus, it would be in excess of $1 billion. It is important to note that Judge Blake indicated in her ruling that the duplication in Maryland was more pervasive than it was in Mississippi.  Also, experts for the state had estimated the plan proposed by the HBI Coalition to cost $1-2 billion and the governor’s offer was only one tenth of the lower end of that estimate.

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Maryland HBCU Students, Alumni Demand Billions in Damages

By Special to the AFRO -
March 17, 2018

“A billion is not enough,” said Senator Joan Carter Conway (D) District 43 at HBCU Night, a convening of legislators and students, presidents and alumni of Maryland’s four Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).
Approximately 100 persons were in attendance at the standing-room only event. Every HBCU seemed to be represented in the audience, from “M” pins representing Maroon University of Maryland Eastern Shore, blue Coppin State letterman jackets, Bowie State’s black and gold scarves and Morgan State blue and orange Bears gear.

conway_1.jpg

Maryland Sen. Joan Carter Conway, D-District 43, addresses HBCU Night’s “Withdraw the Appeal” event.


The presidents of Bowie State University and University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Aminta Hawkins Breaux and Juliette Bell, respectively, spoke to the conditions of each of their campuses on the ground, such as the immediate need for funding.
Many figures were bandied about in the Montgomery County room of Maryland’s House of Delegates, as stakeholders tried to prime the cost of decades of discriminatory practices towards Maryland’s four HBCUs: Morgan State, Coppin, Bowie and University of Maryland Eastern Shore.
But Gov. Larry Hogan’s February offer of $100 million was not found worthy of consideration.
“Prior to litigation, they owed the historically Black institutions 300 to 600 million dollars,” Conway said. “We’re 12 years down the road. It was anticipated, after litigation, that they owed the historically Black institutions a billion to two billion dollars. It was $2.5 billion and counting the last I looked at it.”

conway_2.jpg

Maryland Sen. Joan Carter Conway, D-District 43, addresses HBCU Night’s “Withdraw the Appeal” event.


The Hogan administration’s offer of $100 million would be neither a lump sum, nor a down payment on future redress. Instead, it would be doled out over the next 10 years.
“It’s insulting and we would definitely not accept that. That’s $2.5 million per institution,” Conway said.
Besides real dollars, also at issue during the event were recent procedural matters stemming from Judge Catherine C. Blake’s ruling that the state and its HBCUs return to mediation in The Coalition for Equity and Excellence in Maryland Higher Education, et al. v. Maryland Higher Education Commission, et al.
HBCU Night’s theme, as printed on the agenda and emblazoned on the podium,. was “Withdraw the Appeal.”
Attorney General Brian E. Frosh has since filed an appeal to the Fourth Circuit that would stop the mediation process and allow the state to reargue the facts of the case.
Frosh is the only named party on behalf of the state in the final draft of the HBCU Night agenda, but Conway added nuance to Frosh’s role as both legal advocate and legal advisor to the governor and the General Assembly.
“He filed the appeal because that’s his duty to file the appeal,” Conway said. “The attorney general’s function for the state is to defend the state, so it is contingent upon what the governor says when they finally decide whether or not they’re gonna file those appeals.”
Dwight Pettit, a Baltimore attorney, took exception to this characterization.
“The constitution says the attorney general has to defend suits against the state of Maryland,” Pettit said. “Filing an appeal is not defending a suit. Filing an appeal is an affirmative action by the attorney general to stop a lower court.”
Unlike at the federal level, the Attorney General for the State of Maryland is elected directly by the people as opposed to appointed by the chief executive.
Beyond the obvious delays in redress of damages to HBCUs, Pettit saw a more “devious” motive in Frosh’s appeal.
“Regardless of what takes place in the Fourth Circuit, they’re trying to get an avenue to what? The United States Supreme Court,” Pettit said. “Now, the reason for that is because we are now talking about a Trump court, meaning there’s a 5-4 majority conservative court.”
The proceedings opened with a challenge: that each candidate in the Maryland governor’s race offer up a position paper to the convener of the Maryland HBCU Matters Coalition, Marvin Cheatham.
Of the two candidates in attendance, Ben Jealous and Rich Madaleno, only Madaleno had delivered a paper so far. Cheatham expressed confidence that one would be coming from Jealous. Jim Shea did not make an appearance but had delivered a paper, Cheatham said.
Madaleno had hard copies on hand and at the request of the AFRO.
Madaleno’s proposes an allocation of $1 billion for Maryland’s HBCUs beginning with contributions from the state’s $400 million surplus. Madaleno told the AFRO how this plan could have expansive salutary benefits to the Maryland education system at large.
“We need to improve our schools of education; let’s start by making that investment,” Madaleno told the AFRO. “We spend a lot of time talking about niche programs [so] let’s start by using the School of Education at Bowie, the School of Education at Coppin as the place where we start this effort to rebuild and transform our teacher education programs as an essential part of improving our K-12 system.”
While the Legislative Black Caucus awaits additional position papers, an informational picket of the attorney general’s office is scheduled for April 4.