Misguided Priorities: Texas’ Inequitable Investment in Public Historically Black Colleges and Universities

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Postsecondary education is critical for driving prosperity for Texas families. For more Texans to become skilled members of the workforce and sustainable earners for their families, students of all backgrounds need equitable access to an affordable education after high school. The state government has an important role to play to ensure college affordability, and it is vital that lawmakers prioritize higher education. Every Texan, from any background, should be able to access and afford these opportunities.

While there has been insufficient state investment in higher education generally, there is a significant disparity in state investment in certain types of public institutions. This disparity in institutional investment is especially stark when comparing state funding of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) to that of flagship state universities.

Why do public HBCUs – which educate more underrepresented and lower-income students – receive significantly less state funding than the big flagship universities? Texas lawmakers should show their dedication to equity in higher education by increasing their funding to HBCUs to a level that matches or exceeds their investments in public flagships, given the important and growing populations served at HBCUs.

Read an in-depth analysis of these disparities.

Ashley Williams joined the Center as an Economic Opportunity Policy Fellow in 2018 and focuses on postsecondary education and immigration. She is dedicated to intersectional mixed-methods work and previously researched the disparate impact of high-cost online lending on communities of color and women. Ashley earned a Master of Social Science from UCLA in 2018 and graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 2016, where she received a Bachelor of Business Administration in Business Honors and Finance and a Bachelor of Arts in African and African Diaspora Studies.