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Litigation Alert: Major Funding Suit To Be Filed Today

Publication Date: 
May 20, 2010
The Educated Guess
John Fensterwald

The Youth and Education Law Project (YELP) of the Mills Legal Clinic at Stanford Law School is co-counsel with Bingham McCutchen in Robles-Wong v. California representing individual plaintiffs, including the named plaintiff Maya Robles-Wong. Under the direction of Professor Bill Koski, the Youth and Education Law Project provides Stanford Law students the opportunity to represent youth and families in special education and school discipline matters, community outreach and education, school reform litigation, policy research, and legal advocacy. This lawsuit asks the court to compel the State of California to align its school finance system—its funding policies and mechanisms—with the educational program that the State has put in place.

John Fensterwald of The Educated Guess posted this story on the lawsuit:

The long-anticipated suit challenging California’s meager education funding will be formally announced and filed today.

The state PTA is joining the California School Boards Association and the Association of California School Administrators in what could become the biggest school funding case since Serrano v Priest in the ‘70s overturned the state’s system of funding schools. The suit comes one week after Gov. Schwarzenegger released a revised state budget that proposes spending 11 percent less on K-12 schools than four years ago.

The suit, Robles-Wong, et al. v State of California, will be filed in Alameda County Superior Court. Referring to plaintiff Maya Robles-Wong, a junior at Alameda High School, it will essentially argue that the Legislature and governor have established rigorous standards, assessments and an accountability system without at the same time calculating what it would cost to meet the state’s high expectations. Fewer than half of students overall – and a much larger proportion of low-income, minority children – are proficient in most subjects in most grades.