By: Barbara Hart, Principal in G&E’s Civil Rights Practice In an Amended Compaint filed on behalf of students of Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University (FAMU), plaintiffs seek to eliminate remaining vestiges of a racially divided higher education system in Florida’s public colleges and universities. Plaintiffs allege that the State of Florida has habitually maintained a racially segregated higher-education structure, favoring traditionally White schools over historically Black colleges & universities, known as HBCUs. The FAMU plaintiffs, and the proposed Class of similarly situated students they seek to represent, seek elimination of and changes to these archaic policies that continue to permeate Florida’s public schools, in an effort to, among other goals, rectify the severe underfunding of FAMU and chronic duplication of FAMU’s unique programs at nearby traditionally White schools, like Florida State University. The original complaint was filed in 2022 September by Grant & Eisenhofer and civil rights attorney Joshua Dubin; the recently filed Amended Complaint adds Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, among others, as additional Defendants. In his role as governor, DeSantis has authority over public education in Florida.

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