The Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland wants to ensure that the state’s land-grant HBCUs receive equitable funding. The organization is advocating for a yearly budget for the University of Maryland-Eastern Shore, according to WYPR. It is part of a more comprehensive legislative advocacy work ahead of the 2024 session of the Maryland General Assembly.

The news comes after the Biden administration found that 19 public land-grant HBCUs had been underfunded over three decades, it shared in September. These institutions were estimated to have been underfunded by over $13 billion, according to NPR.

The Morrill Act of 1860 gave states 30,000 acres to establish public colleges and universities nationwide. In 1890, a second Morrill Act was passed to allow Black Americans to start their land-grant schools because of the discrimination and exclusion of Black students. These schools included institutions such as Florida A&M University, Kentucky State University, Prairie View A&M University and North Carolina A&T State University.

Some Maryland officials believe the underfunding is higher than the number shared by the Biden administration.

“In Maryland, because we only have one institution, over the past three decades, that’s approximately $320 million,” Baltimore City delegate Stephanie Smith said during a press conference, according to WYPR.

She says Gov. Wes Moore’s budget proposal for next fiscal year includes $5 million that would go toward Maryland-Eastern Shore.