Appeals Court Grants Stay, Allowing Thomas Jefferson High School to Use Admissions Policy for Class of 2026

The U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a temporary stay in the lawsuit against Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJ) on Thursday, with two of the three judges on the panel concurring. The decision allows the school to use its controversial admissions policy for the class of 2026 while the case proceeds.

“I have grave doubts about the district court’s conclusions regarding both disparate impact and discriminatory purpose, as well as its decision to grant summary judgment in favor of a plaintiff that would bear the burden of proof on those issues at trial,” Judge Toby Heytens wrote in the concurring opinion.

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Virginia Office of the Attorney General Asks Appeals Court to Block Stay of Ruling Against Thomas Jefferson High School Admission’s Policy

The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) has filed an amicus brief asking the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit to deny a stay after a district court ruled that the admissions policy at Thomas Jefferson (TJ) High School for Science and Technology is discriminatory.

“Thomas Jefferson High School has been consistently among the top public schools in the country, and they created and maintained this achievement with a merit-based admissions process. But over the past year, Thomas Jefferson High School changed their policy to prioritize an individual’s race over merit. By doing so, Thomas Jefferson High School has discriminated against deserving students and violated the Equal Protection Clause. This is not equality,” Attorney General Jason Miyares said in a Wednesday press release.

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Governor Youngkin Issues Executive Orders Banning CRT, Ending Mask Mandate Shortly After Taking Office

Governor Glenn Youngkin signed nine executive orders and two executive directives on Saturday shortly after the inauguration. Three of the orders focus specifically on school policy, banning the use of “divisive concepts,” allowing parents to opt their children out of school mask policies, and requesting Attorney General Jason Miyares to investigate the Loudoun County Public Schools.

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Report: Youngkin Will Appoint Anti-Critical Race Theory Former Trump Official to Education Role

According to a report in Daily Wire, Virginia’s Gov. Elect Glenn Youngkin (R) will appoint a staunch opponent of Critical Race Theory (CRT) to his education team. 

Elizabeth Schultz will become the state’s Assistant Superintendent of Public Instruction, according to the report. 

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Parents Group Claims Documents Show Anti-Asian Bias by Virginia School Board

A parents group is claiming documents obtained in a lawsuit over admissions policies to an elite high school prove that a northern Virginia school board had a bias against students of Asian descent.

Purported discussions among members of the Fairfax County School Board mentioned “an anti asian feel underlying” the pursuit of changes to the admissions process for Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJHSST), according to emails, texts, and other documents published by Parents Defending Education (PDE). TJHSST is considered the number one high school in the country by U.S. News and World Report.

“In fall 2020, Fairfax County, Va., school board members said the quiet part out loud,” PDE Vice President for Strategy & Investigations Asra Nomani, wrote in an article on Substack discussing the comments in the alleged discussions.

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Open FCPS Submits 5,000 Signatures to Recall Fairfax School Board Member Elaine Tholen

Elaine Tholen for Fairfax County School Board, Dranesville

The Open FCPS Coalition submitted signatures to recall Fairfax County Public School Board Member Elaine Tholen on Monday. The petitions were launched during frustration about the school’s pandemic virtual learning policies.

“Today symbolizes the culmination of collective efforts of dozens of volunteers and thousands of parents, all to send a clear message to the Fairfax County School Board that our community must return to the business of putting the education and well-being of children first,” Open FCPS member Ian Tompkins said in a Monday press conference.

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Open Fairfax County Public School Board Coalition Collecting Signatures to Recall Three School Board Members

Fairfax County Public School Board

A group of parents is collecting signatures to recall three members of the Fairfax County Public School Board (FCPS). FCPS has announced plans to have five-days-a-week, in-person school in the upcoming school year. But the Open FCPS Coalition is still seeking to recall Springfield District Member Laura Jane Cohen, Dranesville District Member Elaine Tholen, and At-Large Member Abrar Omeish.

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