California Sued Over Education Funding, Again


California is now facing a second lawsuit charging its system of education funding is unconstitutionally unequal.

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The San Francisco Chronicle explains why the suit was filed, from aggrieved students and education activist groups, on top of a similar suit from earlier this year that included some school districts themselves among the plaintiffs:

"We have to sue. Not only are we losing teachers and seeing class sizes skyrocket, but districts are eliminating librarians, nurses, school psychologists, core courses in art, music, PE (physical education) and electives," said Giselle Quezada of the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, a plaintiff in the new case. "Support for our schools needs to be kept at the level required for a high-quality education, and not just during good economic times."

The complaint alleges that the state's funding system violates the legal requirement to not only provide California's schoolchildren with a public education, but to fund schools before anything else. It also alleges the condition of schools violates the Constitution's equal protection clauses, citing disparities across the state in things like teacher quality, class sizes and facilities.

The governor's office thinks that the plaintiffs are looking at the wrong problems with California public education:

"The governor is ready to work with the plaintiffs in this case, but as multiple studies have pointed out, funding alone will not solve the fundamental problems facing our schools," said Andrea McCarthy, a spokeswoman for the governor. "Throwing more money into our broken education system will not benefit students unless it is accompanied by extensive and systematic reform."

The right-wing paper Human Events complained back in March about how state teachers unions stand in the way of such reform.

For a look at where some state education money is going, rather than going to improving education directly for the less well-to-do, check out this story about the new LAUSD complex on the site of the old Ambassador Hotel:

The price tag for a complex of schools at the site of the famed Ambassador Hotel has become the Los Angeles Unified School District's most expensive school project, now surpassing $578 million.

The latest cost increase, approved Tuesday by the Board of Education, adds $6.6 million for expenses related mostly to safety and historic preservation at the complex for 4,200 students.

A website dedicated to the May lawsuit about Cali education funding, Robles-Wong v. California.

City of Angles from back in May on how time-consuming and difficult it is to fire inadequate teachers in California.

Image taken by Flickr user Inkyhack. Used under user Creative Commons license.

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