Is Alabama A&M potentially owed $500 million by the state? US government agencies believe so.

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    Government Agencies Address Inequities in Resources for HBCUs

    In a groundbreaking move to address long-standing inequities in resources for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), the US Department of Agriculture and the US Department of Education have taken action by sending letters to state governors, accusing them of neglecting Black colleges for over three decades.

    The state of Alabama has been specifically called out, with Alabama A&M University being owed a staggering $527 million in missing funds from 1987 to 2020. This revelation has sparked controversy and pushback from state officials, who dispute the amount owed to the university.

    Students at Alabama A&M have reported deplorable conditions on campus, including filthy bathrooms and unsafe electrical outlets. The university has requested nearly $200 million in funding to address critical facility needs, such as a pedestrian bridge that is in dire need of replacement.

    Governor Kay Ivey responded to the letters by rejecting the 1890 Land Grant, a federal law from the Jim Crow era that established separate but equal universities for African Americans. Governor Ivey stated that the law no longer aligns with the state’s values and commitment to providing equal opportunities for all students, regardless of race.

    This latest development sheds light on the systemic challenges faced by HBCUs and underscores the urgent need for greater investment and support for these institutions. The letters sent by the government agencies serve as a wake-up call to state leaders to address the disparities that have persisted for far too long.