A judge in San Francisco has given final approval to the Williams v. California school finance settlement. The ruling puts in place a plan that the state and lawyers representing needy students agreed to last fall.
That plan, approved by Judge Peter Busch of the San Francisco Superior Court on March 23, requires the state to spend more than $1 billion to provide a more equitable education for poor students, including $800 million over four years to repair school buildings, $139 million for new instructional materials, and $30 million to help county superintendents build a system to monitor low-performing schools and oversee emergency repairs. (“With $1 Billion Pledge, Calif. Settles Lawsuit,” Sept. 1, 2004.)
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican, pushed for a settlement in the case. Groups backing students praised the agreement.
Judge Busch wrote of the settlement, “I hope it ended up, as I believe it has, to be a benefit for the state and the schools, and I hope this is the beginning of better days” for public education.