Court case may bring some schools money

In 2000 a case was filed with the San Francisco County Superior Court against the state of California and state education agencies.

The plaintiffs included nearly 100 San Francisco County students who filed the suit on the basis that the agencies failed to provide public school students with equal access to instructional materials, safe and decent school facilities and qualified teachers.

The case was settled in 2004, resulting in the state allocating $138 million in additional funding for standards-aligned instructional materials for schools in the first and second ranks (known as deciles) determined through the 2003 Academic Performance Index (API) Base. The settlement includes another $50 million for implementation costs and other oversight-related activities for schools in deciles one through three (2003 API Base). These two amounts were included in the state budget signed in July by Governor Schwarzenegger. Another $800 million will be provided for critical repair of facilities in future years for schools in deciles one through three (2003 API Base). The settlement will be implemented through legislation adopted in August 2004: Senate Bill (SB) 6, SB 550, Assembly Bill (AB) 1550, AB 2727, AB 3001. As a result of the Williams case, CDE is proposing changes to the School Accountability Report Card (SARC) template that all schools must fill out. The proposed changes will help all schools report the overall condition of their facilities, the number of teacher misassignments, and the availability of textbooks or instructional materials. These reporting requirements were submitted to the State Board of Education on Nov. 9-10 for approval as proposed revisions to the SARC.

Though the California Department of Education said that schools most affected by the Williams case are in deciles one, two and three, as determined by the Academic Performance Index, alternative education schools like Kaweah, Exeter Community Day School and Exeter Independent study may not be eligible for the settlement even though they have been ranked in the first through third decile.

"In the next few months we will see if it includes alternative education schools," Exeter Public Schools Superintendent Renee Whitson said.

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