Unfinished Business

Civil Rights News: Student Debt Burdens Grow; Debating Equal Opportunity on Campus; Immigration Arrests Near School Spark Protests

Compiled by Shannon Housley, a Fall intern at The Leadership Conference Education Fund

Average Debt Up Again for New College Grads
USA Today

College debt remains a pressing issue as its average has gone up among recent graduates. The class of 2011 graduated with an average debt 5% higher than the class before them. Fortunately, those with degrees (and often the debt to match) are better off than those who did not attend college. College graduates face an unemployment rate less than half of what those without a degree face.

Colleges are Scenes of Affirmative Action Debate
Washington Post
By Nick Anderson

The Supreme Court has just taken up Fisher v. University of Texas, and tensions around differing opinions on equal opportunity are as high as ever. Many schools wonder how they will maintain and promote diversity within their institution if the Court does decide that race and ethnicity can no longer play a role in admissions. This applies particularly to older schools that have a “legacy” playing into their admissions process.

Groups Protest Operation by Immigration Agents
New York Times
By Julia Preston

Two men claimed to have been recently detained by immigration agents while dropping their children off at school in Detroit. This sparked a protest on Wednesday that was attended by over 100 people including Rashida Tlaib, a Democratic Michigan state representative. Those at the rally said that agents were not supposed to make arrests near “schools or other community gathering points,” with the potential negative impact of young children in mind.