State Settles Literacy Lawsuit, Will Pour $50 Million Into Reading Programs

The state of California will provide $50 million for literacy programs in underperforming schools under an agreement reached Thursday in the case of Ella T. v. State of California.

The lawsuit was filed in 2017 on behalf of a second grader who never received proper literacy instruction in school. Her attorneys blamed the state, saying it failed to address a literacy crisis in public schools. Plaintiffs included students from La Salle Avenue Elementary (Los Angeles Unified), Van Buren Elementary (Stockton Unified), and the Children of Promise Preparatory Academy in Inglewood.

As part of the settlement, 75 schools with the highest concentration of low-scoring third-grade readers will receive funds. California will also provide public schools with advice on reducing discipline disparities for students of color.

“We brought this case because achievement of literacy for all children remains the single most urgent crisis in California today,” said attorney Mark Rosenbaum. “This settlement is a milestone in that struggle. It is not the endpoint, nor was it ever intended to be. No one — and I’m sure Governor (Gavin) Newsom, State Board of Education President (Linda) Darling-Hammond, and (State) Superintendent (Tony) Thurmond agree — should take this as the last word, or anything close.”

Read more at GVWire