Higher Education Agreements
During FY 2003, OCR continued to monitor the implementation of its higher education agreements with six states. Florida, Texas, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia were among nineteen states that previously operated racially segregated higher education systems. In United States v. Fordice, the U.S. Supreme Court set out standards for determining whether such states have met their affirmative duty to dismantle those systems and their vestiges under the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and Title VI.
In Virginia, several new academic programs were staffed and are now operational at Virginia State University and Norfolk State, the state’s historically black institutions. Also, funds were designated for the improvement of their facilities. Pennsylvania, Texas and Maryland also made progress in the enhancement of the facilities of their historically black institutions. For example, Prairie View A&M and Texas Southern received $25 million in state line item appropriations, which were used for constructing new facilities, improving technology, and adding high demand academic programs, including graduate programs in Electrical Engineering and Urban Planning and Environmental Policy. Another accomplishment was the accreditation of Texas Southern University’s teacher preparation programs.