May 2010 Issue:
Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond, from Stanford University, delivered an inspiring lecture recently on how America can improve public education, in part by following the example of the past 10 years of better equity and outcomes in New Jersey. Later that evening, Dr. Darling Hammond received the Education Justice Award from the Education Law Center.
Book Review by Molly A. Hunter
A former leader of the test and punish, free-market, voucher and charter movement, Dr. Diane Ravitch has recanted her former views. She now believes strong curriculum, experienced teachers, adequate resources, and effective instruction --- in public schools --- are the essentials we need for high quality education. What happened to her thinking?
Students in three Los Angeles middle schools who lost a disproportionate share of their teachers to state budget-related layoffs last year will not suffer the same fate again this year, thanks to a preliminary injunction granted May 12th in Reed v. State of California and LA Unified School District. Plaintiffs' lawyer Catherine Lhamon said that the order “sets a precedent to the state and school districts that they can''t balance their budgets on the back of low-income children of color.”
Researchers studying Milwaukee's school voucher program have, for the third consecutive year, found no significant difference in performance on state tests between students who used vouchers to enroll in private schools, and those who remained in public schools.
In April 2010, Congressman Chaka Fattah introduced the ESEA Fiscal Fairness Act, legislation intended to assure that lower-wealth schools are no longer shortchanged in the distribution of funding among schools in the same school district. If passed and enforced, the Act will go far toward remedying the loophole in federal law that allows districts to disparately underfund schools serving students from lower-income families. However, its limited scope does not address the fact that, in most states, funding disparities between school districts create major inequities.
High Court Decision Anticipated
Plaintiffs still await a decision from the South Carolina Supreme Court in Abbeville County Sch. Dist. v. State of South Carolina, which was argued over a year ago.
May 20-22, 2010
“3rd National Communities for Public Education Reform Convening: Building Power & Sharing Visions, Creating A Groundswell for Education Justice!” Denver, CO.
May 22, 2010
“Stand Up! Stand Together!” Rally to Protect Public Schools and Services, Trenton, NJ. More information is available here.
Send announcements of upcoming events for the Education Justice calendar to:

The test of the morality of a society is what it does for its children.

-- Dietrich Bonhoeffer



Phone: (973) 624-1815

State-by-state information on school funding litigation, past and pending, can be found at this web page.

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