Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Race in Seattle School Admissions Upheld

June 27, 2003|From Associated Press

OLYMPIA, Wash. — The state Supreme Court upheld the Seattle School District's use of race as a tiebreaker in high school admissions Thursday, sending the case back to a federal appeals court.

The court ruled 8 to 1 that the district's "open choice" plan does not violate a voter-approved law that bans racial preferences in education, government hiring and contracting.

The district allows students to choose which of its 10 public high schools they attend, but uses race as one criterion when demand exceeds capacity at its one disproportionately minority and three disproportionately white schools. The court said the policy is race-neutral because in some cases a minority student is chosen and in others a white student is chosen.

"To the extent the tiebreaker is race-conscious, it furthers a core mission of public education: to make available an equal, uniform and enriching educational environment to all students," Justice Tom Chambers wrote for the majority.

The lone dissenter, Justice Richard B. Sanders, said it was a tortured argument to call the policy race-neutral. Favoring different races in different cases "does not render it racially neutral, but rather unlawful in both instances," Sanders wrote.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|