From the Office of State Senator Rodney Ellis

For Immediate Release

Contact: Jeremy Warren, (512) 463-0113

Statement of State Senator Rodney Ellis
Keeping Our Promise to Texas Southern University

We have organized this march to shine the spotlight on broken promises Texas has made to Texas Southern University and Prairie View A&M. Under the so-called "Texas Plan," we promised to provide comparable funding for our historically black universities, to resolve disparities in enrollment, retention and graduation rates for minorities, increase minority faculty and increase the number of minorities appointed or elected to governing boards. More than twenty years later, the State of Texas has still not lived up to that promise.

We do not need another study. We have studied this issue to death. It is time to settle the discrimination lawsuit and provide our historically black colleges and universities with their fair share of education funds.

Nearly two decades after the first Texas Plan was launched, historically white institutions are funded at $14,000 per student compared to only $11,000 per student at the historically black institutions. While we have recently made progress in equalizing funding, the gap between historically black institutions and the others remains wide, and its impact keeps TSU and Prairie View A&M from reaching their full potential.

Let me be clear. We are organizing this march across Scott Street, not to chastise the University of Houston, but to hold it up as an example for which TSU should aspire. We want TSU to be seen by all as just as strong, just as beautiful as its sister across the street. We want both universities to have top flight students and teachers, and top flight buildings and facilities. We want to raise TSU, not drop UH. It is time for us to keep our promise, settle the lawsuit and give TSU and Prarie View A&M the funding they deserve.