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June 18, 2004

Alia Faraj
(850) 488-5394

Frances Marine or
MacKay Jimeson
(850) 245-0413

Statement by Governor Jeb Bush Regarding the First District Court's Decision on the Talented Twenty Program

TALLAHASSEE — "Today's decision by the First District Court of Appeal dismissing the NAACP's challenge to the Talented Twenty program allows us to continue on Florida's path to excellence and opportunity for all. Since implementation of One Florida, the number of minority students attending Florida's universities continues to increase without the use of racial quotas. Minorities made up more than 37 percent of university freshmen in Florida this year — our most diverse entering class yet — compared to 35 percent of the entering class in 1999.

"The NAACP challenged the Talented Twenty program arguing there was no specific statutory authority to adopt rules to implement it. Today the First District held that the NAACP had no legal basis for its challenge, because the Board of Governors had constitutional authority to adopt the rules.

"Florida has replaced raced-based preferences in college admissions with better preparation for college success. We will continue our efforts to provide minority and other underserved students opportunities for higher education."