Congress must abide by the Supreme Court’s ban on Affirmative Action

Critics express concerns about the Supreme Court’s decision not to hear the case of Coalition for TJ v. Fairfax County School Board, where evidence showed intentional reduction of Asian enrollment at Thomas Jefferson HS. This refusal may allow schools and colleges to continue using unconstitutional racial balancing tactics.

Justices Alito and Thomas criticized the decision in their dissent, calling the lower court’s reasoning a potential threat that could spread. This pattern of discrimination is already being observed in colleges and universities.

Colleges and universities are following a blueprint to avoid legal scrutiny, but a larger issue is at play: some schools discriminate based on race to comply with federal funding requirements.

Despite being outlawed by the Supreme Court last year, little-known Minority Serving Institution programs continue to distribute over a billion dollars in higher education funding based on race and ethnicity. gonzagon – stock.adobe.com

Approximately $1 billion in annual grants from the federal government are conditional upon schools maintaining specific racial balances in their student populations.

The Minority Serving Institution programs fund schools that meet arbitrary percentage requirements for certain racial or ethnic groups: 40% Black, 25% Hispanic, 20% Alaskan Native, or 10% Native Hawaiian.

Failing to meet these thresholds means losing eligibility for the grant program. This funding condition raises constitutional concerns and should be reevaluated.

In 1954, the Supreme Court ruled against funding schools based on race, yet the MSI programs continue to operate. These programs do not adequately address past discrimination or support students with specific needs like English as a second language.

The current system of education funding has contributed to the student debt crisis in the nation. Allison Bailey/NurPhoto/Shutterstock

Congress should act to align education funding laws with the Constitution’s requirements and eliminate racial bias in funding allocation.

A lawsuit may force Congress to address this issue, but proactive legislative action is necessary to rectify the constitutionality of such programs.

When Congress amends this discriminatory funding, it should prioritize improving educational opportunities for disadvantaged communities and supporting ESL students.

Model legislation has been proposed by the American Civil Rights Project and the Manhattan Institute, offering alternatives to the MSI programs.

One option suggests shifting funding to the Pell Grant program and increasing grant amounts, providing a race-neutral, need-based alternative to student loans.

The Supreme Court has ruled race-based preferences unconstitutional, yet some schools seek loopholes. REUTERS

An emphasis on supporting ESL students could replace outdated racial criteria in funding programs, benefitting all students in need of language support.

Congress has the authority to ensure compliance with education funding laws, but action is needed to enforce this. Shutterstock

Other alternatives include providing block grants to states or transitioning funds into the Pell Grant program. Congress has the flexibility to explore various options to address this issue.

Ultimately, federal discrimination in school funding based on race should be abolished for both effectiveness and constitutional reasons.

Dan Morenoff is an adjunct fellow at the Manhattan Institute and the executive director at the American Civil Rights Project.

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