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Request for help at Jefferson HS now in hands of court judge

LA School Report | October 8, 2014

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Jefferson High School Walk outs LAUSD

Student at Jefferson High School stage a walk out on Aug. 25, 2014.

A ruling on whether the state needs to step in and straighten out the scheduling problems at LA Unified’s Jefferson High School is now awaiting a decision by a Superior Court judge in Alameda County.

As part of Cruz v. California, a bigger case seeking the state to assure the quality of education for students from seven schools around California, lawyers are asking the court for more immediate help in remediating an on-going situation in which students at Jefferson are left with no instruction during parts of the school day.

At the request of the judge, George Hernandez, Jr., the plaintiffs’ lawyers filed a revised request for injunctive relief and a temporary restraining order this week.

Hernandez has told lawyers in the case he needs more time to decide whether he’ll issue or deny their request to require the state to step in.

“The buck stops with the state,” said Mark Neubauer, a lawyer for the Jefferson students. “The state has the ultimate responsibility to fix this. It’s their burden, by the California constitution.”

In Cruz, the plaintiffs are claiming that they “receive far less meaningful learning time than their peers in most California public schools,” and that as a consequence they “have been denied and continue to be denied their right under the California Constitution to receive an education that is not substantively inferior to the education received by other students in California public schools.”

Two of the schools seven schools in the Cruz case are in LA Unified — Fremont High School and Florence Griffith Joyner Elementary School. Another two are in Compton Unified — Compton High and Franklin S. Whaley Middle School.

The case is awaiting a response from the state on several procedural issues, and no trial date has been set.

Just how the state would return Jefferson to normalcy involves the same issues as Cruz but is a separate question. District officials have been working with school personnel to develop student schedules that fulfill student academic needs. Students, school officials and Alex Caputo-Pearl, president to UTLA, the teachers union, have blamed the problems on MiSiS, a new student-data tracking system that continues to plague the district with problems.

Previous Posts: Computer problems spur a student walkout at Jefferson High; Deasy supports state intervention in Jefferson HS scheduling mess

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