Praise for Your Schools, Your Rights, Your Power

“Parents! Students! Read this guide to find out how to ensure that your schools get the books, teachers, and clean facilities that all students deserve. A great resource to create change.”

~Abdi Soltani, Executive Director, ACLU of Northern California

“This guide is a useful resource for anyone who cares about public education. The stories it highlights are examples of democracy in action – parents, students, and community members making their voices heard to reform schools in the communities that need it most.”

~Amanda Broun, Senior Vice President, Public Education Network


  • Williams v. California: The Statewide Impact of Two Years of Implementation August 2007
  • The Williams v. California Settlement: The First Year of Implementation November 2005
  • Williams v. California: Hope and Confidence for Students and Parents Fall 2007 Article


Useful Links

Williams V. California – Additional information about the Williams v. Californiacase and settlement, including documents filed with the court, expert reports, and clean-up legislation. – California Department of Education page devoted to implementation of the Williams Settlement. – California Office of Public School Construction page with information about the Emergency Repair Program and the Facility Inspection Tool used by county offices of education and school districts to determine whether or not a school facility meets the Williams “good repair” standard.


Outreach & Training


Identifying Williams Issues at Your School


  • Facility Inspection Worksheet (English): After training your members on the types of facilities problems covered by Williams, this easy-to-use two page worksheet will guide members in inspecting the condition of their school facility and identifying Williams issues.
  • Formulario Para Inspección de Instalaciones Escolares (Español):Después de haber capacitado a sus miembros sobre los tipos de problemas de instalaciones escolares cubiertas por Williams, usted puede usar este formulario para guiar su inspección sobre las condiciones en la escuela y para identificar otros problemas relacionados con Williams.
  • Facility Inspection Tool (FIT): This worksheet, developed by California’s Office of Public School Construction, must be used by districts to conduct their own self-evaluations of whether each school in the district is in “good repair” (i.e., clean, safe, and functional). The FIT is also used by county offices of education to inspect facility conditions in the state’s lowest-performing schools. It gives a detailed list of the types of building conditions to be on the lookout for as you inspect your school.
  • Facility Inspection Tool Guidebook: Produced by the California’s Coalition for Adequate School Housing (CASH), this is a more technical guide to inspecting school facilities. Refer to it as questions arise in your inspections.


  • Sample Public Records Act Request: The California Public Records Act (Cal. Gov’t Code § 6250 et seq.) allows any member of the public to request documents held by public agencies, including school districts. Use this sample letter to request information on the names of teachers at your school and the courses they are assigned to teach. You will need this information to determine whether or not teachers at your school are “misassigned.”
  • California Commission on Teacher Credentialing Web Site: Allows you to look up a teacher’s credential.
  • A Teacher Is Key: Using the Williams Settlement to Monitor Teacher Quality: Use this Public Advocates’ guide to help you determine whether or not a teacher has the proper credential to teach the class s/he is assigned to teach.
  • The Administrator’s Assignment Manual: Published by the CTC, this is the document principals and district “Human Resources” directors refer to when they need guidance on whether or not a teacher is properly credentialed to teach a particular class. This manual is very technical, but may be useful if you want to arm yourself with the same information that school officials have.


  • CDE’s Frequently Asked Questions: California Department of Education FAQ about instructional materials, including the requirement that districts hold a public hearing within the first eight weeks of the school year to determine whether or not all students in the district have sufficient textbooks and instructional materials.
  • CDE’s Instructional Materials Survey Forms: California Department of Education survey forms, which list standards-aligned textbooks and instructional materials that have been adopted by the State Board of Education for grades k-8. Most districts choose to adopt some of the books on this list for use at the district level, a requirement for qualifying for state instructional materials funding. NOTE: Look on your school district’s web site, or contact your district’s Instructional Materials Department, to obtain the list of the textbooks and instructional materials adopted by your district.

School Accountability Report Cards

Complaint Filing

Follow Up

  • Sample Agenda for Meeting with District Officials: If you are unsatisfied with the school/district’s response to your complaint, or the school/district fails to respond in a timely manner, you may want to schedule a follow-up meeting with school/district officials to press them to remedy the problems identified in your complaint. Here’s an example of an agenda to guide you in developing your own.
  • Sample Facilities Appeal Letter: If you are unsatisfied with district officials’ response to a facilities complaint, you can appeal directly to the California Department of Education. Use this sample facilities appeal letter as a template to guide you in writing your own. NOTE: You must do so within 15 days of receiving the district’s response.

Other Resources



Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.

Not readable? Change text. captcha txt