Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH). Photo provided


U.S. Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Raphael Warnock (D-GA), with U.S. Representatives Alma Adams (D-NC-12) and Marilyn Strickland (D-WA-10), introduced a new bill that would help ensure states provide 1890s land-grant universities with their fair share of state funding.

Brown has worked for years to secure critical investments for 1890 land-grant institutions. He secured a provision in the 2014 Farm Bill that granted Central State University 1890 land-grant status. In the 2018 Farm Bill he increased the amount of funding the university is able to receive from USDA, while not jeopardizing the funding of any other 1890 land-grant institution.

Under federal law, states are obligated to provide an equitable distribution of state funding for all land-grant universities. However, historically Black land-grant universities have often been shortchanged and don’t always receive the funding they deserve. The Land-Grant Research Equity and Accountability Act would require governors to annually attest publicly whether or not the state plans to provide funding to each 1890s land-grant institution.

“1890 land-grant universities have fostered generations of African American students, farmers, and scientists – opening doors for students who might otherwise have been denied the quality education and fair shot that all Americans deserve,” said Brown. “I will continue fighting for investment in these institutions so they can continue creating opportunity and preparing future leaders in Ohio and around the country.”

“Our 1890 Land-Grant institutions have been punching way above their weight for far too long, so this legislation will bring us one step closer to ensuring historically Black Land-Grant universities get the funding they’re due,” said Senator Reverend Warnock. “This is a win for Georgia students, Georgia farmers, and Georgia’s economy. I’m proud to join with Chairman Brown on this important legislation. Let’s get this done.”

“Our 1890 Universities are at the leading edge of making our food and agriculture system safer, more productive, and fairer, and they need resources and funding to maintain that edge” said Congresswoman Adams, a senior member of the House Agriculture Committee, and co-chair of the Congressional Bipartisan HBCU Caucus. “This bill brings greater accountability to ensuring that the federal funds the 19 historically Black 1890s need to train the next generation of leaders are matched by their respective home states. As a proud 1890s graduate, I am honored to introduce this bill, which both strengthens and brings parity to our nation’s land-grant system.”

“Supporting 1890 Universities, also known as Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), is vital to long-term investment in Black students and communities in this country,” said Rep. Strickland. “The Land-Grant Research Equity and Accountability Act will hold states accountable by increasing equitable fulfillment of these state funds and help HBCUs provide quality education for our next generation of Black leaders. We must ensure that these historic institutions have equal access to funding they rightfully deserve.”

“For over a century, 1890 land-grant universities have been shortchanged of the resources they deserve,” said Denise Smith, deputy director of higher education and senior fellow Century Foundation and author of a landmark report on the underfunding of Black land grant universities. “Even in spite of this, they’ve managed to produce some of the country’s most important thinkers and provided countless Black families with a pathway to the middle class. It’s long past time Black universities got the equitable funding they deserve and the Land-Grant Research Equity and Accountability Act will guarantee transparency and accountability for 1890s, ensuring that they have the resources they need to serve their students and communities. I want to thank Senators Brown and Warnock, Congresswoman Adams, and Congressman Strickland for leading on this important issue and being champions for racial justice in our higher education system.” 

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