ACLU Settles Education Law Suit With State of California
Los Angeles Times staff writers, Duke Helfand and Cara Mia DiMassa, reported on Aug. 11, 2004:
"Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's administration and the American Civil Liberties Union have tentatively settled a major education lawsuit that accused the state of denying poor children adequate textbooks, trained teachers and safe classrooms, lawyers for both sides said Tuesday.
The proposed agreement would require the state to devote as much as $1 billion over a period of several years for 2,400 low-performing schools to repair deteriorating facilities and $50 million to assess such needs. It also would provide nearly $139 million this year for textbooks.
The tentative pact in the Williams vs. California suit, which was reached after five months of negotiations, would provide additional resources and beefed-up oversight for the bottom third of California's schools as ranked by scores on standardized tests.
ACLU attorneys hailed the proposed agreement as a revolution for the education of poor children in California and praised Schwarzenegger's efforts to settle the case, an about-face from his predecessor, Gray Davis, whose administration spent $18 million fighting it...
In addition to the ACLU, the suit was filed by the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, the nonprofit San Francisco law firm Public Advocates and the Morrison & Foerster firm."