Biden administration, HBCU

16 States Severely Underfunded Historically Black Land-Grant Universities

The Biden administration just released some triggering facts about HBCUs.

NBC News reports that land-grant schools in 16 states missed out on close to $13 billion in funding over the past 30 years. Letters were sent to the governors of those states from Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona and Secretary of Agriculture Thomas Vilsack requesting that they increase funding. According to the Biden administration, Tennessee State University has the lowest funding, with a reported underfunding worth $2.1 billion.

Governors in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia received the letters, bashing them for not giving the institutions what they needed to succeed.

“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,” Cardona said.

Thankfully, data from the National Center for Education Statistics provided the statistics, finding the lack of funding in 16 of 18 states that hold Black land grants. Founded in the 19th century, land-grant universities were created on federal land to advance research and agricultural instruction. According to a new analysis, federal law requires states to distribute state funds equally to all land-grant universities. However, HBCUs have been getting the short end of the stick.

Some affected schools include Alabama A&M University, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, Kentucky State University, Lincoln University in Missouri, Langston University in Oklahoma, Florida A&M, and North Carolina A&T, NPR reports.

In Florida, Louisiana, Tennessee, Texas, and North Carolina, the difference between HBCUs and PWIs, predominately white institutions, ranged from $1 billion to $2 billion.

Cardona and Vilsack said this problem can be dealt with if everyone works together.

“This is a situation that clearly predates all of us,” they said. “However, it is a problem that we can work together to solve. In fact, it is our hope that we can collaborate to avoid burdensome and costly litigation that has occurred in several states.”

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