Access to Quality Education
It’s not enough for our public school children to have a seat in the classroom. California’s Constitution guarantees them a quality education when they’re sitting in that seat.
Legal Complaint Against San Francisco’s Marina Middle School
On January 23, 2023, Public Advocates filed a Williams complaint to address Marina Middle School’s failure to provide students with the qualified teachers they are entitled to under the law. Attorneys at Public Advocates have uncovered numerous teacher vacancies, teacher misassignments and a pattern of inaction by school administrators.
Public Advocates Publishes Multilingual Resource Guide
The Resource Guide for Multilingual Learners was published in January 2023 by Public Advocates.
Implementing California’s Historic Investment in Community Schools
In an enormous victory for low-income students, English learners, students of color, and their families, the California Budget Act of 2021 included an historic $3 billion investment for the Community Schools Partnership Program (CSPP).
The California Partnership for the Future of Learning
The California Partnership for the Future of Learning is a statewide alliance of community organizing and advocacy groups advancing a shared vision of a transformational, racially just education system built for us all. It is led by Public Advocates, Advancement Project California, Californians for Justice, and PICO California with the support of Community Coalition, InnerCity Struggle, and over a dozen grassroots, research and philanthropic partners.
LCFF Equity Coalition
The LCFF Equity Coalition is a California-based coalition of civil rights, advocacy, community, parent, and student organizations working to implement the state’s Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) and focus resources on closing opportunity and achievement gaps.
COVID K-12 Resources
We’ve put together a library of K-12 COVID tools. Topics include: Learning Continuity Plan Resources; Restorative Reopening of Schools, Pandemic Relief Funding; and Know Your Rights toolkits.
Every child should have a teacher who is qualified and values them as an individual.
Local Power Building
Our Local Power Building team is working on the ground with students, parents and organizers as they advocate investments to address the needs of low-income students, students of color, English learners, and foster youth following a year of school closures, lost instructional time, and the social-emotional impacts of the pandemic and uprisings against racism.
Banning the use of IQ Tests
LARRY P., et al., Plaintiffs v. Wilson RILES et al., Defendants
For decades, thousands of African American students in California public schools were misplaced in separate, self-contained classes for the mentally retarded through the use of racially and culturally biased standardized I.Q. tests. In 1986, Public Advocates successfully brought a halt to the use of I.Q. tests for placement of African American students in special education classes. This landmark case began in 1971 when Public Advocates’ clients filed a class action lawsuit against the State Department of Education and the San Francisco Unified School District. A 65-day trial, involving 53 witnesses and 28 leading experts was held in 1977. In 1979, Judge Peckham issued a 130-page order criticizing the educational system, the role of I.Q. tests, and the harm done by misplacing African American students in dead-end classes. In a historic decision, Judge Peckham ended the use of I.Q. tests for the purposes of identifying and placing African American school children in special classes for the mentally retarded and required remedying the misplacement which had occur. Read more here. However, school districts and school psychologists continued to use and rely on I.Q. tests, despite the 1979 court order. The parties returned to the Court of Appeal; and, in 1986, the Court affirmed Judge Peckham’s decision. Finally, the State Superintendent signed an agreement to end the use of I.Q. tests on September 16, 1986. Today, Public Advocates continues to monitor the misuse of I.Q. tests in the State of California.
Opportunities to Learn
Every child has a right to study in a school that is safe, clean and conducive to learning.
- College and Career Readiness – Making sure all students graduate high school ready to pursue their dreams.
- Williams v. California – Making the case for decent school conditions and access to qualified teachers for all California students.
- Williams Resource Page – Settlement and complaint procedures and campaigns in landmark education lawsuit.
- Educational Standards and Common Core – 2103 Guide for communities to make sure state-established educational standards and benchmarks for learning are met.
School Accountability & Equitable Funding
We need to reimagine education to assure adequate and equitable funding is spent efficiently on our schools.
- Local Control Accountability Plans LCAPs – School districts account for their spending under LCFF by reporting it in LCAPs. These are the linchpin to delivering on the promise of education finance reform.
- Measuring success to keep schools accountable – Public Advocates is part of a statewide community of advocates who monitor and advocate around how the state, counties, and school districts will actually evaluate the progress made to fulfill the promise of LCFF.
- California’s School Finance Law – Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF)
- Campaign for Quality Education v. California – Making the case for adequate funding of schools.
- Serrano v. Priest – Background on California’s landmark school funding cases.