Commonwealth of Virginia
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Jason S. Miyares
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Richmond, Virginia 23219
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Attorney General Miyares Issues Guidance on State Funding For Historically Black Colleges and Universities
In an Attorney General Legal Opinion, Miyares outlines the legal framework for General Assembly funding for Virginia's HBCUs
RICHMOND, VA – Attorney General Jason Miyares today issued a legal opinion providing guidance about state government funding options for Virginia's Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). This attorney general opinion was requested by Delegate A.C. Cordoza, of Hampton, as he and the General Assembly work with Governor Glenn Youngkin to fulfill a campaign promise to increase funding for Virginia's HBCUs.
This Attorney General Opinion declares that the state has nearly unfettered authority to provide financial assistance to the two public HBCUs (NSU and VSU) through the legislature's appropriations process, just as any other public college or university in Virginia. While the Constitution of Virginia prohibits state appropriations to private colleges and universities, Attorney General Miyares clarifies in the opinion that the Constitution and Virginia code does provide several exceptions that permit the General Assembly to provide funding to the private HBCUs in several ways. The opinion clarifies that the state government can fund private HBCUs through the Tuition Assistance Grant (TAG) program for individual students, procured public contracts for the university, and Virginia College Building Authority loans for the university.
As Black History Month comes to an end, this Attorney General Opinion - Miyares' second opinion since taking office - is a direct reaffirmation and explanation of the legal framework in place to protect, support, and grow Virginia's HBCUs. In the opinion, Miyares states, "Both the state and non-state HBCUs are valuable and irreplaceable components of the Commonwealth's higher education system. According to the U.S. News & World Report 2022 Best College Rankings, Virginia has four HBCUs that are listed in the top 50 HBCUs in the United States.”
Read the opinion HERE.