News Brief: Lawsuit against FCPS alleges Jefferson admissions changes violate 14th Amendment


Members of the Coalition for TJ and the Pacific Legal Foundation stand outside the Albert V. Bryan Courthouse in Alexandria after filing a lawsuit against FCPS

Elliott Lee, Staff Writer

The Coalition for TJ, a parent group, filed a new lawsuit against FCPS on March 10. It alleges that new Jefferson admissions changes violate the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment by intentionally reducing the number of Asian-American acceptances. 

“The Equal Protection Clause [promises] that government at every level will treat every American as an individual, not simply as a member of his or her racial group,” the suit states. “Policies like the one implemented by FCPS stand in direct opposition to that promise.”

The FCPS School board voted to revamp the Jefferson admissions policy in October 2020. Among the changes was the removal of standardized testing, teacher recommendations, and application fees. In their place, the Board decided to implement a holistic review system. The Coalition is suing to reverse these changes in federal court. 

The Coalition is represented by conservative legal group Pacific Legal Foundation. The lawsuit follows one filed in November 2020 by the parents of 17 middle school students in a Fairfax County Circuit Court. A judge refused to grant a temporary injunction to force FCPS to administer standardized testing in Feb.