Committee Proposes Aid for Texas Minority Students
Influential leaders of the Texas Commission on a Representative Student Body called for a rise in state spending on financial aid for minority college students today. They requested that a biannual appropriation of $500 million be awarded to students based on need, arguing that diversity in higher education is essential to create a strong economy in Texas.
A ruling in 1996 by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that race could not be a determinant in the admissions process at public colleges in Texas. The ruling came from a lawsuit brought by several white students who were angered after being declined admission at the University of Texas' law school. The order has also been applied to financial aid programs.
After the ruling went into effect, public colleges in Texas saw an immediate decline in the number of enrolled minorities. The state of California saw similar results after passing the anti-affirmative action measure Proposition 209.
"Lack of money is the main reason why minority students do not enter college, transfer from community or technical colleges, or stay long enough to receive a degree," the commission reported. "Without additional financial support, many Texans will not acquire the education necessary to become fully productive citizens, and the state will not have the educated work force that it needs to remain competitive."
The committee also suggested creating a fund of $60 million to finance student recruitment efforts and $49 million to increase work-study programs. Many legislators oppose the committee's recommendations.
Media Resources: Washington Post - October 16, 1998
8/31/2015 Chicago Activists Continue Hunger Strike to Save Predominately Black Public High School - Chicago residents have entered the second week of their hunger strike protesting the closure of Dyett High School, in the predominately African-American Bronzeville neighborhood located on the South Side of Chicago.
Parents and community members are calling on the Chicago Board of Education to keep Dyett - the only open-enrollment, neighborhood school in its area - open and accept a community plan to revitalize the school with a focus on science and green technology. . . .
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .