Home Press Release Education Minnesota reacts to affirmative action, loan forgiveness decisions

Education Minnesota reacts to Supreme Court decisions to end affirmative action, reject education debt forgiveness

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ST. PAUL, Minnesota. June 30, 2023 – In separate rulings with damaging effects on Minnesota’s educators, their families and their students, the U.S. Supreme Court has decided that race-conscious admissions policies are unlawful in higher education, and the court rejected the Biden administration’s plans to forgive billions of dollars in education debt.  

On Thursday, the court ruled 6-3 that colleges and universities may not consider race in most aspects of the admissions process. Education Minnesota represents faculty in the two-year colleges of the Minnesota State system – which do not consider race in admissions – and some faculty at the Duluth and Crookston campuses of the University of Minnesota system.  

The following statement on affirmative action in college admissions may be attributed to Education Minnesota President Denise Specht. 

“Most Minnesotans want the same things for our students, like a fair shot at the university of their choice, no matter what those students look like, where they’re from, or who they love. But for much of our nation’s history, color-coded barriers were used to the prevent Black, brown and Indigenous people from accessing the opportunities in higher education we all deserve. With this decision, the Supreme Court has reinforced those barriers and put the future success of students from marginalized communities in jeopardy. 

“Until our students live in a society where race doesn’t affect their educational opportunities, ignoring the role of race in educational policy will only perpetuate educational inequalities. Education Minnesota is committed to eliminating obstacles that prevent BIPOC students from achieving their full potential. The decision Thursday by an out-of-touch court removes a critical tool for addressing our nation’s history of racial injustice, but still permits preference for legacy students.  Our union will work with educational institutions at all levels to ensure that all students, regardless of race, have a clear path toward a successful life, including by going to college.” 

The following statement on education debt forgiveness may also be attributed to President Specht. 

“Students have been told for decades that a college education is one of the most important vehicles to get ahead, but years of underfunding of higher education and the actions of predatory loan services have left tens of thousands of Minnesotans, including many educators, restrained by debt. The court’s decision fails to recognize both this reality and the meticulous planning behind the Biden administration’s plan to provide relief to those who need it the most, such as low-income borrowers, veterans, and public servants who have dedicated their lives to serving their communities. Now, six justices have effectively denied millions of aspiring students and borrowers the opportunity for a brighter future. The extreme conservative majority on the court had an opportunity lighten the weight of unfair debts on working people across the nation, and our state, and said, ‘no.’” 

About Education Minnesota
Education Minnesota is the voice for professional educators and students. Education Minnesota’s members include teachers and education support professionals in Minnesota’s public school districts, faculty members at Minnesota’s community and technical colleges and University of Minnesota campuses in Duluth and Crookston, retired educators and student teachers. Education Minnesota is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, National Education Association and AFL-CIO.

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