The Williams Case -- An ExplanationLatest information on the landmark Superior Court case to provide all students equal access to instructional materials, safe schools, and quality teachers.
The Eliezer Williams, et al., vs. State of California, et al. (Williams) case was filed as a class action in 2000 in San Francisco County Superior Court. The plaintiffs include nearly 100 San Francisco County students, who filed suit against the State of California and state education agencies, including the California Department of Education (CDE). The basis of the lawsuit was that the agencies failed to provide public school students with equal access to instructional materials, safe and decent school facilities, and qualified teachers.
What is a Uniform Complaints Procedures or UCP complaint?
A Uniform Complaint Procedures or UCP complaint is a written statement alleging discrimination, harassment, or a violation of a federal or state law or regulation. A UCP complaint must be filed by way of the Uniform Complaint Procedures as written in theCalifornia Code of Regulations, Title 5, sections 4600-4687. Issues that may involve filing a complaint using the UCP are under various state and federal programs that use categorical funds such as Adult Education, Career Technical And Technical Education And Training Programs, Child Care And Developmental Programs, Child Nutrition Programs, Consolidated Categorical Aid Programs, Federal Safety Planning Requirements, Migrant Education, and Special Education Programs.
A Williams Complaint, another type of UCP complaint, regards instructional materials, emergency or urgent facilities conditions that pose a threat to the health and safety of pupils, and teacher vacancy or misassignment and may be filed anonymously. Local educational agencies (LEAs) shall have a complaint form available for these types of complaints, but will not reject a complaint if the form is not used as long as the complaint is submitted in writing.
A Valenzuela complaint (Assembly Bill 347) is a type of Williams Complaint and requires LEAs that receive intensive instruction funds to post a notice in Grades 10 to 12 classrooms and provide an area on the Williams Complaint form for alleging a lack of opportunity to receive intensive instruction and services for pupils who have not passed one or both parts of the high school exit exam by the end of 12th grade. This requirement is subject to SBX3 4 (Ch. 12, Third Extraordinary Session, Statutes of 2009), ABX4 2 (Ch. 2, Fourth Extraordinary Session, Statutes of 2009), Education Code Section 42605, and/or existing contract or bargaining agreements that the LEA may have in place.
Not all complaints fall under the scope of the UCP. Many concerns are the responsibilities of the LEAs, including, hiring and evaluation of staff, classroom assignments, student advancement and retention, selection/provision of textbooks and materials, student discipline, provision of core curricula subjects, facilities, graduation requirements, homework policies and practices, use of general education funds and dress codes and school uniforms.
The following documents describe the process in filing a complaint. Topics include referring complaint issues, LEA responsibilities, LEA policies and procedures, filing a local complaint, time lines, appealing LEA Decisions, department resolution procedures, the on-site investigation process, and the investigation and final report procedures of the California Department of Education (CDE).