Tuesday, December 16, 2008

In Georgia, Stir Over Plan for Black Colleges

As Georgia faces a potential $2 billion budget deficit, a state senator has created a stir with a plan for reducing education spending: merge two historically black universities in Albany and Savannah with nearby mostly white institutions.

The proposal was made this month by Seth Harp, a Republican who is the chairman of the State Senate Higher Education Committee, and quickly drew condemnation from many black educators, politicians and alumni.

But supporters say the plan would not only save millions of dollars but also reduce racial segregation in state-run universities.

“Institutions supported by taxpayers should be diverse, educating men and women of all colors and creeds,” wrote Cynthia Tucker, the Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial page editor of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, who is black. “There is no longer good reason for public colleges that are all-white or all-black.”

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