Group Sues Maryland, Alleging Unfair Treatment of Historically Black Institutions

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A civil-rights organization filed a lawsuit on Friday in a state court in Baltimore alleging that Maryland has failed to follow its own and federal laws with regard to historically black institutions in the state.

"This case is about the ability of historically black colleges and universities to attract students of all races, to ensure that the programs that they offer are distinguished and not duplicated" at nearby institutions that are traditionally white, said David J. Burton, president of the Coalition for Equity and Excellence in Maryland Higher Education Inc., which filed the suit.

According to Mr. Burton, Maryland has violated numerous laws and agreements, including a stipulation that the state would not duplicate a program at another university if it was within 35 miles of a historically black institution with a similar program.

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