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Williams vs. California Settlement Protects Basic Education Rights of Children in California

As lawyers in Pasadena can tell you, education is an issue where all parents want their child's needs to be met. However, many parents are not aware of all the laws that ensure their child is protected. Important legal provisions make educational needs a matter of children's rights.

For example, many parents are familiar with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). It is a law ensuring services to children with disabilities throughout the nation. And everyone has heard of the No Child Left Behind Act.

But have you ever heard of the "Williams settlement?"

Here's a line from the Williams vs. California settlement that a lot of parents interested in family law in Pasadena might find interesting:

"[T]hese thresholds for teacher quality, instructional materials, and school facilities are intended by the Legislature and by the Governor to be a floor, rather than a ceiling, and a beginning, not an end, to the State of California's commitment and effort to ensure that all California school pupils have access to the basic elements of a quality public education."

On May 17, 2000, a lawsuit was filed against the State of California due to substandard conditions in many California public schools. In August 2004, a settlement was announced. The settlement requires that all students have books and that their schools be clean and safe. It also requires the state to take steps to ensure that students have qualified teachers and that schools deliver these important resources to students.

All public schools in California fall under the provisions of the Williams settlement. A statewide accountability system has been put in place where every school district must now provide a uniform complaint process for complaints regarding insufficient instructional materials, unsafe or unhealthy facility conditions and teacher vacancies.

Budget cuts in California are inevitable, and those who place a premium on quality education are ready to advocate. With the coming budget cuts, the Williams settlement is more pertinent to the rights of children than ever.

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