Mississippi Lawmakers Propose Bill That Could Shut Down The State’s Only Public HBCUs


AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis

Three historically Black colleges and universities in Mississippi could permanently close if state lawmakers pass a proposed Republican-sponsored bill.

According to the proposed specifics, Alcorn State University, Jackson State University, and Mississippi Valley State University are among the schools that could be shuttered as part of Mississippi Senate Bill 2726, which aims to shut down three of the state’s eight public colleges and universities.

Republican State Senator John Polk, who represents Mississippi’s 44th District, drafted the seven-page proposal, but Mississippi Institutions of Higher Education (IHL) would make the decision on which universities to close.

IHL officials would decide which universities to close by June 2025 based on enrollment, federal aid, tuition rates, degree programs, and local economic impact. Those schools would be mandated to shut down by the end of 2028.

A letter from the alumni associations of each of the three universities to state legislators opposes the bill, stating that closing Mississippi’s three public HBCUs would deeply hurt the state.

The letter said, “Closing these institutions alone would not only deprive future generations of the transformative educational experiences they offer, but it would also irrevocably damage the cultural and intellectual landscape of Mississippi.”

 In late February, MS Votes started a petition on Change.org to reject Senate Bill 2726. So far, it has collected over 14,500 signatures.


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