Educational Equity

The Lawyers’ Committee’s education equity work looks at issues in education that are impacting low-income students of color throughout the Bay Area. We assist community based organizations, parents, and students in leveraging the law to identify and create community-based solutions for issues in our schools. The Lawyers’ Committee is all too aware that many inequities in education remain under the radar unless there are advocates to monitor the many programs and policies that are rife with racially inequitable practices.

2015 – The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights (LCCR) and Public Counsel file suit in Sacramento County Superior Court challenging the California Department of Education’s (CDE) refusal to disclose the number of long-term English learners in California public schools.The case is LCCR et al. v. California Department of Education, filed in Sacramento County Superior Court on August 10, 2015. A copy of the writ petition is available here.

2013 – The report “Held Back” is released, which indicates that school districts have been disproportionately requiring minority 9th graders to repeat Algebra I, even when they have performed well on standardized tests and successfully passed the class in 8th grade. It outlines how such practices violate federal and state civil rights laws and urges reform of placement practices.

2013 – A complaint filed against the Oakland Unified School District by Skyline High School students from Black Student Union represented by LCCR charging that the school was in violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits providers of programs and activities that receive federal funding from discriminating on the basis of race, color, or nationality was resolved.

2013 – The report “Pushing the Line” is released, which highlights racial disparities in peninsula area High School student assignment plans that have a disproportionate impact on minority students in East Palo Alto. The report outlines how the District’s assignment plan potentially runs afoul of federal and state civil rights law and urges the District to change its school assignment practice.

2012 – Citing badly deteriorated conditions at the West Contra Costa school district’s Community Day School Program, LCCR and the ACLU of Northern California filed suit on behalf of two concerned taxpayers against the school district. The lawsuit sought to compel the district to relocate its Community Day School Program (CDSP) and to provide adequate staffing, instructional materials, and legally required services to its students.

2012 – Lawsuit challenging the closure of Doyle Park Elementary School in Santa Rosa, CA is settled when school board officials agree to keep the school open for one more year.  The school was to be closed and replaced by a new French American Charter School, which was not likely to accommodate the high Latino enrollment in Doyle Park.