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Supporters HBCUs Rally In Maryland's Capital

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Students and alumni from Maryland's four historically black colleges rallied Wednesday for a resolution to a 13-year-old federal lawsuit over disparities in academic programs.

Advocates say Maryland fostered segregation by allowing better-funded academic programs at traditionally white universities, undermining historically black schools.

Lawyers representing the HBCU coalition proposed the state pay over $577 million.

Gov. Larry Hogan says that $200 million over a 10-year period is his, "final offer."

But schools say it isn't enough, arguing HBCUs need that much money to develop unique, in-demand academic programs that will attract students of all races.

"We need buildings, renovations. We need funding for programming, scholarships," those at the rally told WJZ. "We need more."

The state and schools were unable to reach a settlement after a court-ordered mediation earlier this year.

Now, the debate has moved to the public arena.

If the state and the schools can't come to an agreement, the case will head to the federal appeals court.

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