Concerned parents and community groups throughout California filed suit in San Francisco Superior Court today challenging State Superintendent Jack O’Connell’s decision to suspend monitoring of specialized education programs for Homeless, Neglected, Juvenile Justice, Migrant, English learners, and other disadvantaged youth for at least one year. The money for these special programs comes primarily from federal funding under the No Child Left Behind Act, and must be spent to augment general education programs funded by the state.
The lawsuit, Alejo, et al. v. O’Connell, et al, Case No. CPF 09-509568, alleges that the state must monitor and oversee the use of these funds by school districts to ensure that they are used to help academically “at risk” students overcome educational challenges. The state retains a percentage of these federal funds so that it can fulfill the promise it made to the U.S. Government to monitor and evaluate these programs. The Petitioners allege that the state is unlawfully spending the money for other purposes and allowing school districts to do the same.