RICHMOND, Va. — A Virginia Senate committee has rejected legislation aimed at increasing low-income students at one of the country’s top-ranked public high schools.

The panel overwhelmingly voted against a bill by Democratic Sen. Scott Surovell to require Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Fairfax County to admit a certain number of students who receive free or reduced-price meals. The bill would also require a quota from each middle school that’s eligible to send students to the elite magnet high school.

Thomas Jefferson is frequently ranked as one of the best public high schools in the country but has long drawn criticism for not having many Hispanic and black students. Admission to the school is fiercely competitive, with some students starting to prepare as early as the third grade.