Feds: West Virginia State was underfunded by $852.6M over 30 years

(The Center Square) – West Virginia State University has been underfunded by $852.6 million in the past 34 years alone, a letter from the U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of Agriculture said.

The letter was part of 16 sent to state governors saying 18 combined Historically Black Colleges and Universities have been underfunded by a combined $12 billion compared to other land grant institutions in their states.

“Given the large amount of state funding that is owed to West Virginia State University, it would be ambitious to address the funding disparity over the course of several years in the state budget,” the letter said. “It might very well be your desire to do so, which we wholeheartedly support. Yet, if an ambitious timetable is not a possibility, we suggest a combination of a substantial state allocation toward the 1890 deficit combined with a forward-looking budget commitment for a two-to-one match of federal land-grant funding for these institutions in order to bring parity to funding levels.”

The letter notes the funding disparities clearly predate all of current decision-makers but the problem can begin to be resolved now.

“West Virginia State University, the 1890 land-grant institution in your state, while producing extraordinary graduates that contribute greatly to the state’s economy and the fabric of our nation, has not been able to advance in ways that are on par with West Virginia University, the original Morrill Act of 1862 land-grant institution in your state, in large part due to unbalanced funding,” the letter said.