Tennessee lawmakers are now one step closer to making up for past funding issues with the state’s only public historically Black college, Tennessee State University. The state may have shorted the college upwards of $500 million.
In June, a joint legislative committee tasked with looking into the issue directed the Tennessee Higher Education Commission to identity potential investments that will bring the university’s facilities and academic programs up to par with other fully funded colleges.
THEC is recommending funding for new dorm rooms, study halls, and safety and security systems, according to a memo sent to committee members earlier this month. But Tennessee State is unlikely to receive a lump sum cash investment.
Education officials are also suggesting improvements to the college’s electrical infrastructure, and funding for parking, roads and sidewalks.
There is also talk of funding a bigger pot of financial aid to help students pay for college. That’s in addition to putting more money into mental health counseling and other student support services. Two goals of the college are to boost academic outcomes and graduation rates.
The next step, says THEC, is to verify Tennessee State’s needs and appoint someone to oversee the proposed projects.