Education desegregation has had a tumultuous history in Maryland. Another effort begins Jan. 3, when a lawsuit filed by the Coalition for Equity and Excellence in Maryland Higher Education against the state of Maryland goes to trial in federal court in Baltimore. The action seeks to make Maryland’s four historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) “comparable and competitive” with its traditionally
White institutions (TWIs). Here are some milestone dates in Maryland’s higher education history.
U.S. Supreme Court outlaws “separate but equal” facilities across the nation. The next year, the court rules that school systems be desegregated “with all deliberate speed.”
U.S. Civil Rights Act signed into law. Title VI bars discrimination by any program or agency receiving federal funds. It applies to higher education systems.
Federal government – through what later becomes the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights (OCR) – cites Maryland for the first time for not dismantling its dual higher education system.
Maryland submits desegregation plan. OCR rules it insufficient. Negotiations begin toward a new desegregation plan.
Maryland and OCR agree to a new plan.
OCR expresses concerns about Maryland’s implementation of 1974 plan and says it will sue to block its Title VI funds. Maryland instead sues, blocking the OCR action while leaving other issues to be resolved in court. More negotiations.
Maryland submits five-year desegregation plan. OCR, again, rules it as insufficient.
Consent decree ends 1976 lawsuit. More negotiations.
Talks from consent decree bring Maryland and OCR into agreement on a desegregation plan. It was tio be implemented over five years.
Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) formed.
MHEC submits report on desegregation efforts from 1985 to 1990. No formal response from OCR.
Supreme Court renders decision in U.S. v. Fordice on desegregating Mississippi’s higher education system.
OCR informs Maryland that Fordice standards apply to its higher education system.
OCR begins compliance review of Maryland’s higher education system.
Compliance review results in “Partnership Agreement” between Maryland and OCR, in which Maryland commits to dismantling it's dual higher education system and making HBCUs “comparable and competitive” with TWIs. It is to be implemented from 2000 to 2005.
MHEC and Maryland Secretary of Higher Education submit report to OCR asserting compliance with “Partnership Agreement.”
OCR says compliance review began in 1999 – and was resolved in 2000 with the “Partnership Agreement.” The agency “continues to monitor the implementation of that agreement,” the office says.