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State officials in Arkansas discuss the $332 million underfunding of HBCUs



Pine Bluff, Arkansas – The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff is underfunded, a problem that state legislators in Arkansas are addressing. The Biden administration brought attention to the alleged 13 billion dollar funding gap between historically Black colleges and institutions and their counterparts in letters to sixteen governors last year.

A state lawmaker gave an explanation of the steps being taken to recover those cash.

According to state legislator Vivian Flowers, UAPB might be on par with other institutions in the state if it got the necessary funds it was due. She reported that a town hall meeting was held recently to address financing difficulties, with representatives from the Arkansas Legislative Black Caucus, the former UAPB/AM&N National Alumni Association, and other groups in attendance. In accordance with the letter from the USDA and U.S. Department of Education, they wished to provide an update and reply to the general public, UAPB students, and alumni.

According to Flowers, the two departments found that during a thirty-year period, HBCUs have received billions of dollars in underfunding. She claimed that over that period of time, UAPB has not gotten the funding it is due.

“We’re really looking at over a century of underfunding, so when you think about what that has meant over the years for UAPB to of not had those resources,” Flowers said.

The land-grant universities from the second Morrill Act of 1890 serve as the foundation for the $13 billion funding. Following the Civil War, HBCUs were established in numerous southern and some northern states thanks to funding from that award.

“We’re talking about streams of funding for the entire campus that would require the same level of equitable funding over a period of years since 1890 to present,” she said.

According to Flowers, the amount UAPB is owing could alter the campus’s layout. According to her, legislators are still in negotiations over how those funds will be recouped.

“Whether it’s overtime in one lump sum it’s what alumni, what the Arkansas Legislative Black Caucus and students want to see,” Flowers said.

The only years’ worth of lost funds are 1987–2020. Flowers stated that even though UAPB hasn’t received that funding, the campus has prospered over the years. According to her, they want to arrive at a fair and equitable place and make some kind of settlement.

Governor Sanders has promised to collaborate with legislators to keep providing top-notch instruction and learning opportunities for every student.

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