Posted on Monday, March 17 at 1:31pm | By Matier and Ross
Legislative leaders shelved a measure Monday that would have allowed California’s public universities once again to consider race when deciding which students to admit.
Assembly Speaker John Perez, D-Los Angeles, said he was sending SCA5 — a proposed constitutional amendment that would restore racial and gender preferences for public university admissions — to a special task force for further study.
Perez made the announcement after it became clear the proposal didn’t have enough Democratic support to win the two-thirds Assembly vote needed to send it to the ballot.
As we reported earlier Monday, three Asian American state senators — San Francisco’s Leland Yee, Ted Lieu of Torrance (Los Angeles County) and Carol Liu of La Cañada/Flintridge (Los Angeles County) — had urged Perez to put the brakes on the effort. All three voted for the amendment when the Senate approved it, but they had second thoughts when they started hearing from Asian American constituents who feared that giving preferences to African American and Latino students would make it harder for their children to get into competitive University of California campuses.
The amendment, sponsored by state Sen. Ed Hernandez, D-West Covina (Los Angeles County), had initially passed out of the Senate with full backing from Democrats. Monday’s action sending it off to a joint Assembly-Senate task force, which plans to hold hearings up and down the state, ensures it won’t come to an Assembly vote anytime soon.
Hernandez said “scare tactics and misinformation used by certain groups opposed to SCA5″ prompted a need for the hearings.
Judging by today's announcement, as Alternate Universe Stalin might have said, quality has a quantity all its own.