Law & Courts

Voicing Complaints

By Joetta L. Sack — February 15, 2005 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

The fight to improve conditions in some of California’s neediest schools is far from over.

Several hundred students and advocates last week protested what they say is the failure of school districts to live up to the conditions laid out by the state last fall when it settled the Williams v. California case by promising more resources and rights to students in impoverished schools.

According to the objectors, some schools are not posting notices about how to file complaints over violations of the law, which seeks to address such issues as substandard facilities and textbook shortages. The settlement requires notices to be posted in every classroom, beginning Jan. 1, 2005.

To make their concerns known, the students, who skipped school, and advocates held rallies in five cities around the state: Fresno, Long Beach, Oakland, San Diego, and San Jose.

About 70 people, mostly high school students, attended the rally outside a state office building in Oakland, said John Affeldt, a managing lawyer with the San Francisco-based watchdog group Public Advocates, one of three groups that provided legal help to the students in the four-year legal battle.

He said the demonstrators targeted districts and schools that they feel are not complying with the settlement. Oakland officials did not return a phone call seeking comment.

Last year, the state agreed to pay more than $1 billion for textbooks, renovations to facilities, and health and safety studies for students in the highest-poverty districts. (“With $1 Billion Pledge, Calif. Settles Lawsuit,” Sept. 1, 2004.)

The California Department of Education has posted a sample complaint notice on its Web site.

Sherry S. Griffith, a legislative advocate for the Association of California School Administrators, said schools that had not yet posted the notices were “the exception rather than the rule,” and were likely confused by the settlement’s numerous requirements and deadlines. Further, the state board of education is not scheduled to pass its regulations dictating the content of the notices until next month.

She said the administrators association has frequently reminded its members about the notification deadline through its Web site, newsletter, and e-mails.

Meanwhile, Mr. Affeldt said his group was continuing to monitor the Williams implementation. “We’re giving the districts a little breathing room this first year, but if we do find districts not following the settlement,” he said, “we’re prepared to go into court.”

A version of this article appeared in the February 16, 2005 edition of Education Week

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
Attend to the Whole Child: Non-Academic Factors within MTSS
Learn strategies for proactively identifying and addressing non-academic barriers to student success within an MTSS framework.
Content provided by Renaissance
Classroom Technology K-12 Essentials Forum How to Teach Digital & Media Literacy in the Age of AI
Join this free event to dig into crucial questions about how to help students build a foundation of digital literacy.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Law & Courts Letter to the Editor Religion in the Classroom May Be Legal, But Is It Just?
A teacher responds to Louisiana's Ten Commandments law.
1 min read
Education Week opinion letters submissions
Gwen Keraval for Education Week
Law & Courts Posting Ten Commandments in Schools Was Struck Down in 1980. Could That Change?
In 1980, the justices invalidated a Kentucky law, similar to the new Louisiana measure, requiring classroom displays of the Decalogue.
13 min read
Louisiana Gov. Jeff Landry signs bills related to his education plan on June 19, 2024, at Our Lady of Fatima Catholic School in Lafayette, La. Louisiana has become the first state to require that the Ten Commandments be displayed in every public school classroom, the latest move from a GOP-dominated Legislature pushing a conservative agenda under a new governor.
Louisiana Gov. Jeff Landry, a Republican, signs bills related to his education plan on June 19, 2024, at Our Lady of Fatima Catholic School in Lafayette, La. One of those new laws requires that the Ten Commandments be displayed in every public school classroom, but the law is similar to one from Kentucky that the U.S. Supreme Court struck down in 1980.
Brad Bowie/The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate via AP
Law & Courts Biden's Title IX Rule Is Now Blocked in 14 States
A judge in Kansas issued the third injunction against the Biden administration's rule granting protections to LGBTQ+ students.
4 min read
Kansas high school students, family members and advocates rally for transgender rights, Jan. 31, 2024, at the Statehouse in Topeka, Kan. On Tuesday, July 2, a federal judge in Kansas blocked a federal rule expanding anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ+ students from being enforced in four states, including Kansas and a patchwork of places elsewhere across the nation.
Kansas high school students, family members and advocates rally for transgender rights, Jan. 31, 2024, at the Statehouse in Topeka, Kan. On Tuesday, July 2, a federal judge in Kansas blocked a federal rule expanding anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ+ students from being enforced in four states, including Kansas, and a patchwork of places elsewhere across the nation.
John Hanna/AP
Law & Courts Student Says Snapchat Enabled Teacher's Abuse. Supreme Court Won't Hear His Case
The high court, over a dissent by two justices, decline to review the scope of Section 230 liability protection for social media platforms.
4 min read
The United States Supreme Court is seen in Washington, D.C., on July 1, 2024.
The U.S. Supreme Court is seen in Washington, D.C., on July 1, 2024. The high court declined on July 2 to take up a case about whether Snapchat could be held partially liable for a teacher's sexual abuse of a student.
Aashish Kiphayet/NurPhoto via AP