Settlement of Alabama’s Higher Education Racial Desegregation Litigation

With a court date pending, the parties in a 25-year-old racial desegregation lawsuit against the state of Alabama and its higher education system have agreed to a settlement. The suit was first filed in 1981 after no action was taken following a 1979 Department of Education finding that the state still operated a dual system of higher education for blacks and whites.

The settlement calls for payments of $25.8 million to Alabama State University and $7.3 million to Alabama A&M University, the two historically black state-operated universities in the state. In addition, the state has agreed to establish a new $10 million need-based financial aid program that will be open to students of all races.