WASHINGTON, March 10, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA) filed a formal complaint with the U.S. Dep't. of Education, Office for Civil Rights, alleging that the State of Wisconsin's recently enacted Minority Teacher Loan program is a violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act.
The Wisconsin Minority Teacher Loan program provides and then forgives loans to minority college students in the state studying to become elementary or secondary school teachers if they agree to teach in a school district where minority students constitute at least 40% of the population. Wis. Stat. § 39.40; Wis. Admin. Code HEA § 11.01– .08.
The program is only available to "minority students" which the law defines to include "Black Americans," "American Indian or Alaskan native," "Hispanic," or "a person of Asian or Pacific Island origin."
Because this law purposefully excludes qualified applicants who are white, it is racially exclusionary and thus triggers "strict scrutiny"—a form of judicial review that applies to laws involving racial classifications and preferences.
From the exact wording of the statute, as well as the written legislative history, it is irrefutable that the purpose behind the law was based on the perceived benefit of exposing minority students to minority teachers. This use of race is at odds with several guiding principles in the Supreme Court's equal protection jurisprudence.
In addition to the formal complaint, Students for Fair Admissions submitted a legal memorandum that details the flaws in the statute. It can be found at our website and attached to this press release.
Edward Blum, president of Students for Fair Admissions, said, "Any law that purposefully excludes qualified students because of their race or ethnicity is presumed to be illegal and unfair. The Wisconsin Minority Teacher Loan program should be amended to include all qualified Wisconsin college students regardless of their skin color or ethnic heritage."
Blum continued, "I encourage any qualified Wisconsin student who wants to participate in this college loan forgiveness program to visit our website, studentsforfairadmissions.org."
Students for Fair Admissions is a nonprofit membership organization with over 22,000 members. The mission of SFFA is to eliminate racial classifications and preferences in K-12 and college programs, including admissions policies. Currently, SFFA is challenging the admissions policies of Harvard and the Univ. of North Carolina in federal court, and the Univ. of Texas in state court.
Contact: Edward Blum
SOURCE Students for Fair Admissions