Education activists file lawsuit against California

08:51, July 13, 2010      

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A coalition of education activists filed a lawsuit on Monday against the U.S. state of California and state Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger for allegedly failing to adequately fund the public school system.

The lawsuit claims that "the State of California ... is failing to provide all children with an equal opportunity to obtain a meaningful education."

"It is failing to appropriately and adequately fund the public school system. And it is failing to prepare children to meaningfully participate in our democracy, succeed economically, or live in our diverse society," it adds.

The complaint says California's student population is "among the most challenging in the nation," with the largest number of students learning English and among the highest numbers of students living in poverty.

Yet California's per-pupil funding, especially when adjusted for cost of living, is among the lowest in the nation, and the budget cuts of the last several years have only made matters worse, says the lawsuit, filed in Alameda County by the Campaign for Quality Education, Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, Californians for Justice and the San Francisco Organizing Project.

The complaint also blames the state for failing to equally distributing education funds, saying "California delivers to districts of similar size and demographics vastly different amounts of funding for no apparent reason."

Due to a 19.1-billion-dollar deficit, California lacks billions of dollars annually in education funding.

Earlier in May, other education groups filed a similar legal claim against the state and the governor.

The governor's office has said it will vigorously oppose the other suit, while also asserting that it supports efforts to improve and pay for education.

Source: Xinhua


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