BALTIMORE, June 16 (UPI) -- A lawsuit filed almost five years ago by Maryland's historically black state colleges could end in a settlement, lawyers say.
Both sides are scheduled to meet in a private hearing Monday in U.S. District Court in Baltimore, The Baltimore Sun reported. They are likely to discuss whether the formula Maryland uses for funding state colleges and universities discriminates against the historically black institutions.
Morgan, Coppin and Bowie state universities and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, joined together as the Coalition for Equity and Excellence in Maryland Higher Education, sued the Maryland Higher Education Commission in 2006. They said that in addition to underfunding the black colleges the state set up competing programs at majority white schools that draw away students, maintaining segregation.
"The state has been saying to us that they are serious and are prepared to make substantial offers, but what specifically that means, I guess we'll find out" on Monday, said Michael Jones, a Washington lawyer representing the coalition.