Calling it a “major victory,” Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa hailed a judge’s decision to block district-mandated layoffs at three Los Angeles middle schools where civil rights groups said job cuts would deprive inner-city children of their right to an education.
Last week’s order by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge William Highberger affects teachers and staff at Samuel Gompers, John Liechty, and Edwin Markham middle schools.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California and the Public Counsel Law Center had filed a lawsuit in February, claiming that layoffs at the schools in low-income and minority areas would violate the state constitutional rights of students.
The judge’s ruling “acknowledges what we have always known: The students attending these schools have a right to a quality education, and the current system has violated their rights,” Mr. Villaraigosa said.
The 650,000-student district, the nation’s second-largest, had its funding slashed as the state struggled to close a massive budget deficit. The district, working within criteria set by the teachers union, was forced to issue layoff notices to staff members with the fewest years of experience.
A version of this article appeared in the May 19, 2010 edition of Education Week as Judge Blocks Teacher Layoffs at 3 Inner-City L.A. Schools