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Ballot measure aims to allow college admissions to consider race and gender

by AirTalk®

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Students hoping for a repeal of California's Proposition 209 hold signs as they protest outside of the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on February 13, 2012 in San Francisco, California. A Federal appeals court will hear arguments in a lawsuit that wants to overturn Proposition 209, a voter approved measure that prohibits affirmative action at state universities. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The California senate voted to put a constitutional amendment on the November ballot which would allow colleges to consider race and gender in student admissions. The ballot measure, SCA 5, would repeal a 1996 bill prohibiting the consideration of race and gender as a factor in college admissions.

Senator Ed Hernandez, the author of SCA 5, says repeal of the 1996 law is long overdue, and the percentage of minority students in California schools is declining at an alarming rate.

Opponents of the bill, including Senator Bob Huff (R) of Diamond Bar, disagree, saying that the consideration of race and gender could be used to discriminate against students.

Should California schools consider race and gender in college admissions? Is this a way to protect students, or might it cause discrimination in higher education?


Democratic California State Senator Ed. Hernandez, O.D., State Senator representing California District 24, author of SCA 5

Republican California Assemblymember Kristin Olsen, Assemblymember representing the 12th Assembly District, Vice Chair of the Education Committee

Jody Armour, Roy P. Crocker Professor of Law at the University of Southern California


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