Public Advocates Files Complaint to Address Educator Staffing Concerns in West Contra Costa School District

A sign for John F Kennedy High School in Richmond, California, one of the schools named in Public Advocates' 2024 Williams complaint

Summary:

On January 31, 2024, Public Advocates filed a Williams complaint with the West Contra Costa Unified School District (WCCUSD) to address the district’s failure to provide students with the qualified teachers they are entitled to under the law in three schools: Stege Elementary School, Helms Middle School, and John F. Kennedy High School.

Attorneys at Public Advocates have uncovered numerous teacher vacancies and a pattern of inaction by school administrators, who have instead filled the classes illegally with long-term substitutes or have had permanent educators staff at these schools spending their free periods filling in for vacant classes, placing additional burdens on educators throughout the district.

Since 2005, as a result of Williams v. California, a landmark lawsuit brought by Public Advocates and other organizations in 2000, school districts are required to correct teacher vacancies and unlawful assignments within 30 days.

Public Advocates is calling on WCCUSD to take immediate action to remedy these violations. The district must begin to develop long term solutions and center the well-being and needs of its students, particularly low-income, Black, and multilingual learners—to address these systemic issues.

Resources:

Learn: How prepared are teachers across the state? (Ed Trust-West)
Read: How do we create a more diverse educator workforce? (Public Advocates)
Learn: What is a Williams complaint? (Public Advocates)
Learn: How do I file a Williams complaint? (Spanish, Chinese) (Public Advocates)

Read the Complaints:
Stege Elementary School Williams complaint
Helms Middle School Williams complaint
John F Kennedy High School Williams complaint

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