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California Sued Over Education Funding Crisis

Publication Date: 
May 20, 2010
The Washington Post

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.

The Washington Post filed this story:

It has come to this in California: Desperate educators are turning to the courts for some relief from historic budget cuts that are leaving some districts unable to provide all students with an equal opportunity to meet the state’s academic goals.

A broad coalition of organizations and school districts filed a lawsuit Thursday in the Superior Court of California in Alameda asking that the state’s education finance system be declared unconstitutional. It also seeks creation of a new process by which schools are equitably funded.

California’s public schools have been battered by budget cuts in recent years. The state Constitution gives education financing a unique priority by requiring that "from all state revenues there shall first be set apart the monies to be applied by the State for support of the public school system.” The lawsuit argues that recent budget cuts have violated this requirement.