GEORGIA – Three members of the Georgia House of Representatives met earlier this month to address the underfunding of Georgia’s public historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs).
The overall disparity between predominantly Black and predominantly white land-grant universities’ funding totals over $12 billion.
Though the land-grant mandate for state governments is meant to match funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Jones said that many states have yet to reach that requirement. Georgia only got there in 2014.
When states fail to match USDA funding for their land-grant HBCUs, those schools must then request a waiver from the federal government to keep that share of funding.
But a funding disparity as large as $603 million underscores the opportunity gap that FVSU students have held for so long, said Ashley Young, an Education Analyst at the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute.
“We feel the disinvestment,” she added. “Not only are Black students borrowing more money to go to college, we’re going to colleges that have received less funding over time.”
Young also knows that equitable funding for FVSU and other land-grant HBCUs is possible.
“There are two states: Delaware and Ohio… that have equitably funded their 1890 institution[s],” she continued. “What then is the reason we can’t do the same for our 1890 institution, Fort Valley State University?”