The Educated Guess
A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge drew a bright line Wednesday on Gov. Jerry Brown’s goal of shifting control over education decisions from Sacramento to local districts. What the state can’t do is pawn off its constitutional duty ensuring that California’s children get their fundamental right to a free education, Judge Carl West indicated in a terse tentative ruling. He is expected to elaborate on and finalize the ruling within the next few days.
The ruling marks a clear victory for plaintiffs who had sued the state and state education officials for failing to crack down on school districts that illegally charge students school fees ranging from payments for sports uniforms and textbooks to lab materials and AP tests. It’s a common practice that has become more prevalent as budget-strapped districts have sought ways to save money – often at the expense of low-income families that can’t afford the extra fees.