The Leadership Conference is working diligently to see that Tom Perez is confirmed as U.S. Secretary of Labor. Perez is an eminently qualified public servant and consensus builder who has dedicated his career to ensuring that all individuals are treated fairly and have the opportunity to succeed. He has served with integrity and distinction at the local, state and national level, compiling an outstanding record of achievement.
Texas Top-10 Percent Plan Preserved
Feature Story by Tyler Lewis - 7/11/2007
All Texas students who graduate in the top 10 percent of their class can still get into a state university of their choosing.
On May 27, the Texas House of Representatives rejected a bill that would cap the number of admits a state university must admit under the 10-year old "Top 10 percent" plan.
"Following Hopwood, the 'Top 10 percent' plan has been an important source for maintaining racial and geographical diversity at Texas universities," said Wade Henderson, president and CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights. "We are pleased efforts to restrict what has proven to be an effective policy were rejected in the House."
In early May, a House Committee had passed a bill capping the number of admits under the plan at 60 percent of the university's freshman class.
The rejected bill was a compromise bill between the House bill and a slightly different Senate bill, which passed on May 4.
"The minority community united together in opposing legislation that would dilute the gains made under the Texas Top Ten Percent Plan," said Luis Figueroa, legislative staff attorney for the Mexican American Legal Defense & Educational Fund San Antonio regional office. "Not only has the Top Ten Percent Plan preserved minority and rural access to Texas flagship universities, it has also added to the academic excellence of these schools. Top ten percent students have consistently academically out performed the non-top ten percent students."
The "Top 10 percent" plan was adopted in 1997, after the federal appeals court decision in Hopwood v. Texas banned affirmative action programs in the state, and was designed to promote diversity at Texas state colleges and universities. Under the plan, Texas high school students who graduate in the top 10 percent of their class are automatically admitted to a state institution of their choice.
Critics in the House and Senate argued that the plan was making admissions at many Texas institutions, particularly at University of Texas at Austin, difficult. However, supporters argued that the program allowed students from rural areas to attend the state's flagship institutions, providing much needed geographical diversity.