Landmark Case

Williams v. State of California

March 23, 2005

On May 17, 2000, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), along with other civil rights organizations, filed a lawsuit against the State of California because of the terrible conditions in many of its public schools.

We argued that the State is failing to provide thousands of public school students, particularly those in low income communities and communities of color, with the basic necessities required for an education. We further argued that the State's failure to provide these bare minimum necessities to all public school students in California violates the state constitution, as well as state and federal requirements that all students be given equal access to public education without regard to race, color, or national origin.

In August 2004, a settlement was announced. The settlement requires that all students have books and that their schools be clean and safe. It also requires the State to takes steps to ensure that students have qualified teachers and that schools deliver these important resources to students. The settlement provides nearly $1 billion to accomplish these goals

Learn how to file a Williams Complaint.

To learn more about Williams Settlement, visit www.decentschools.org

Case Developments  
Settled
August 15, 2004

Case settled out of court.