Cheyney University advocates press state for help

Advocates for struggling Cheyney University are taking their message to the state Capitol, saying closed-door talks with Pennsylvania university system officials to settle a federal lawsuit aren’t yielding progress.

About 200 attended a Tuesday rally in the Capitol Rotunda.

Advocates say decades of discrimination and foot-dragging on other court cases by the state system has left Cheyney with a plunging enrollment and dire financial situation.

Cheyney is one of two historically black colleges in Pennsylvania.

Cheyney supporters originally filed a bias lawsuit against the state in 1980. But they say the formula for funding the state system’s 14 schools is still skewed against smaller schools like Cheyney. As recently as 2013, state system officials noted Cheyney’s per-pupil allocation was nearly three times the average given to the other universities.

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