Three HBCU alumni are suing the Georgia Board of Regents, alleging that the board did not equally fund state public HBCUs, Albany State, Fort Valley State, and Savannah State universities, Blavity reported.
The suit claims that the board took resources away from HBCUs and instead gave them to Predominately White Institutions (PWIs). Georgia’s three HBCUs rely on state funding more than other schools, according to the lawsuit.
During Fort Valley State graduate Martrice Herrington’s time at the school, the buildings were old and the elevators frequently broke, she said.
“There should not be two systems of education in Georgia,” said attorney Carlos Moore. “In 2023, we’re still fighting for something as simple as equity, justice, equality.”
The legal challenge seeks to help future students attending the HBCUs, the plaintiffs said.
“It means a lot. It could help them, help them financially, help them go to a better, beautiful school than it is now, help them grow as a person, help them get a better experience in college,” Herrington said. “Sometimes you have to speak up for what you want.”
In September, U.S. Secretary of Education Dr. Miguel A. Cardona and Secretary of Agriculture Thomas Vilsack told Georgia and 15 other states that they have underfunded HBCUs by over $12 billion in recent decades compared to non-HBCUs.