In May 2000, a class action lawsuit on behalf of California's public school students, Williams v. State of California, was filed in state court in an effort to make the state address inequities in its public schools. The central issue of the case was students' access to the "bare essentials" of public education: qualified teachers, current textbooks, and adequate and safe facilities. The author analyzes the relationship between school and district characteristics and the base year of the Academic Performance Index (API), the state's main measure of school performance, focusing on variables related to the main issues in the Williams case. The findings support the plaintiffs' arguments that the basic educational necessities targeted by the case should be the object of state policy in conjunction with accountability policies.
- School-finance litigation
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