Saturday, May 28, 2005



On Wednesday, legislators decided to postpone further debate on the top 10% law
until the next legislative session. With the session in its final days, not enough
time was left to iron out differences between the House and Senate. However,
lawmakers have pledged to work toward a resolution in two years when the
Legislature meets again.

Current law entitles Texas students graduating in the top 10% of their high school
class automatic admission to any public college or university in the state. This law
was enacted in 1997 to promote racial and ethnic diversity after a court ruling
banned the use of affirmative action in admissions. However, many legislators
believe that the current law needs to be revised to address capacity problems at the
University of Texas at Austin. Senate legislation authored by Senator Royce West
(D-Dallas) would require high school students to take more rigorous classes to
qualify for admission based on a top 10% ranking.

A proposal approved by the House would allow universities to limit the number of
students accepted under this law to half of their freshman classes, admitting the
highest-ranking students first. The rest of the top 10% students and other students
not in the top 10% would be considered for admission based on a broad review of
their academic and personal backgrounds. The two houses were unable to reach
an agreement on their two plans and will continue the issue in 2007.
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