A bill has been passed to prohibit discrimination in the governor’s schooling

RICHMAND, Virginia (WRIC) – A bill banning elite governors of Virginia from discriminating during the admissions process was passed with the support of two parties on Tuesday.

This occurs less than a month after a a federal judge overturned the changes at one school after finding that they put Asian-American students at a disadvantage.

The 26 against 13 votes in the Democrat-controlled Senate means account a law is likely to be signed. The Republican-led House of Delegates is expected to agree to Senate amendments, said delegate, sponsor of the bill Glen Davis (R-Virginia Beach).

Opponents argue that the weakened bill has no legal impact because it largely repeats existing federal law.

However, Governor Glen Yangkin’s campaign promise takes a clear stand against the new admission criteria that have increased racial diversity at Fair Jefferson High School of Science and Technology (TJ) in Fairfax County.

“You can have any neutral criteria you want, but if you use them to discriminate against a group, in this case Asian Americans, it’s illegal under federal law, and if we pass this bill, it will be illegal under state law. The statements are important, and we have a chance to make a statement, ”said Senator Chap Petersen (D-Fairfax) ahead of Tuesday’s vote.

Driven by government orders to increase diversity in gubernatorial schools, TJ abandoned standardized testing requirements and removed the $ 100 fee. The school has begun to guarantee a certain number of places for students of each high school that is eligible. The new method also took into account certain “experience factors,” such as applicants ’attendance at a high school that was historically considered underrepresented, eligible for free and reduced-price meals, or English language student status.

Although the policy changes do not explicitly mention race, U.S. District Judge Claude Hilton said public school board statements indicate that their intention was to change the school’s racial composition.

According to the decree, the share of Asian-American students admitted to the class in 2025, after the changes fell to about 54%. This is less than 73% in the previous school year.

“Asian-American applicants are disproportionately deprived of equal conditions,” Hilton wrote.

At the same time, according to Senator Gazala Hashmi (D-Chesterfield), the share of black students increased from 1% to 7%, and Hispanics – from 3% to 11%.

“At the same time, we have also noticed an increase in the performance of our students,” Hashmi said.

Senator Scott Surowell (D-Fairfax) accused a federal judge of gathering evidence and called the bill unnecessary.

Senator Jennifer McClellan (D-Richmond) said it does nothing to increase diversity.

“It’s actually a problem. This bill does not solve this problem, ”McClellan said. “I’m not sure this bill is really doing anything other than a point to discuss an issue that, frankly, is used to create disagreements.”

Delegate Davis disagrees. He said part of the bill would expand access to rigorous training resources, which he said underlie the problem.

“We all knew early on that the lack of diversity was not due to revenue. This was due to the lack of diversity in the conveyor belt, the lack of opportunities that students had in all high schools, ”Davis said. “This bill guarantees that it will happen regardless of this child’s zip code.”

TJ Alumni Action Group Vice President Junwei Chen, an American of Asian descent, welcomes the changes that have been made to the school. He believes that the impact on his community is inflated, and the model aims to increase socio-economic diversity.

“For them, using this as a weapon infuriates many progressive Asians, for example, no, this is not an example of anti-Asian hatred. You just use it to achieve your political goals, ”Chen said.

Harry Jackson, who is black, argues that the new criteria are detrimental to opportunities for advanced learners in black and Hispanic communities. Jackson, the father of the current TJ student and plaintiff in the lawsuit, believes the General Assembly should double the message sent by the judge.

“It was a victory against racism. That’s how I felt, ”Jackson said.

Source link

USA News