Students & lawmakers call for equitable funding of NC HBCUs

Students and lawmakers held a press conference at the NC General Assembly on Wednesday to call for increased funding of North Carolina’s historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs).

Eyricka Johnson, a student at Elizabeth City State University (ECSU) and a Democracy Fellow with Common Cause NC, noted that North Carolina is home to more public and private four-year HBCUs than any other state, with more than 32,000 students in the UNC system enrolled at HBCU schools.

“ECSU, and all HBCUs, give a student a chance to succeed and should be funded equally due to their contributions,” Johnson said.

Xavier Jones, a graduate student at NC Central University, called for passage of Senate Bill 667, which would allocate $50 million in additional funds for the 2019-2020 fiscal year to the state’s five public HBCUs to address underfunding.

“This bill provides a chance for universities to work on dilemmas, such as housing, recruiting and retaining faculty and staff, lowering student fees, maintaining their campus infrastructures, longer library hours and providing more parking,” Jones said. “With the help of this bill, we can bring more attention and attendance to HBCUs.”