Robles-Wong v. California, No. RG-10515768
The Youth & Education Law Project of Stanford Law School's Mills Legal Clinic and the law firm of Bingham McCutchen are representing children and their families in a historic lawsuit that was filed on May 20, 2010 against the State of California. The lawsuit asks the court to declare the current education finance system unconstitutional and to require the state legislature to establish a school finance system that provides all students an equal opportunity to meet the academic goals set by the State.
The case, Robles-Wong, et al. v. State of California, was filed in the Superior Court of California in Alameda County, and is docketed as case number RG-10515768. The case is currently assigned to Judge Steven Brick, Complex Litigation Division (Dept. 17). The lawsuit was brought by a broad coalition, including more than 60 individual students and their families, nine school districts from throughout the State, the California School Boards Association (CSBA), California State PTA, and the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA).
Plaintiffs' case has been bolstered by an intervening complaint, filed by the California Teachers' Association (CTA), filed on July 15, 2010. The State filed its demurrer and motion to strike the two complaints on August 10, 2010, seeking to dismiss both lawsuits, and plaintiffs filed their response on October 8, 2010. The State's reply is due on November 16, 2010. Judge Brick will hear arguments for and against the demurrer on December 10, 2010 at 9:00am.
Specifically, the Robles-Wong lawsuit asks the court to compel the State to align its school finance system - its funding policies and mechanisms - with the educational program that the State has put in place. To do this, plaintiffs allege, the State must scrap its existing finance system; do the work to determine how much it actually costs to fund public education to meet the state's own program requirements and the needs of California's school children; and develop and implement a new finance system consistent with Constitutional requirements.