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Judge: New admissions policies at elite school discriminate

Pacific Legal Foundation attorney Erin Wilcox speaks at a news conference outside the federal courthouse on March 10, 2021, in Alexandria, Va., where her organization filed a lawsuit against Fairfax County's school board, alleging discrimination against Asian Americans over its revised admissions process for the elite Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology. (AP Photo/Matthew Barakat)

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — A federal judge has ruled that a Virginia school system illegally discriminated against Asian Americans when it overhauled the admissions policies at an elite public school.

Friday’s ruling from U.S. District Judge Claude Hilton found that impermissible “racial balancing” was at the core of the plan to overhaul admissions to Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, known as “TJ.”

The school routinely ranks as the best or one of the best public schools in the country, and slots at the school are highly competitive.

The overhauled admissions process scrapped a standardized test and set aside slots at middle schools across the county.

The school system said it will appeal.