California is violating the constitutional rights of low-income children of color who are bearing the brunt of the shortcomings of distance learning statewide through deficient technology and ineffective instruction, a lawsuit filed this week is charging. The State Board of Education and the California Department of Education, in particular, have failed to prevent and address these inequities, the public interest law firm Public Counsel alleges in Cayla J v California, named for an 8-year-old Oakland student. We speak with Jesselyn Friley, a lead attorney in the case, who explains the need for the lawsuit and possible remedies.
Plus, in a departing interview with EdSource, CSU Chancellor Tim White, who is stepping down after 8 years, relates that despite the pandemic, the 23-campus system had historically high first-year student retention rates, and is on target to meet ambitious 4- and 6-year graduation rates by 2025. He also discusses the challenges ahead for next year’s budget.
For background on these issues, check out the following:
- Public Counsel’s complaint in Cayla J v. State of California
- Public Counsel’s Sept. 8, 2020 letter to State Supt. Tony Thurmond and State Board President Linda Darling Hammond and their response (see pages 67 to 84 of the complaint)
- Up to 1 million California students may still lack connectivity during distance learning
- Retiring CSU Chancellor White says pandemic changes can benefit higher ed
- Next CSU chancellor pledges to improve graduation rates, despite the pandemic
- Newsom’s proposed budget cuts to higher education force difficult choices ahead