The California constitution guarantees that public schools will provide a free education to students. The American Civil Liberties Union alleges in a lawsuit filed today that dozens of school districts violate this promise by creating a system of “Pay to Learn” schools.A high school student and his mother told the ACLU in a videotaped interview about how his teacher belittled him when he purchased cheaper school supplies than those she’d assigned.Mother: She didn’t like it because it wasn’t exactly the same even though he had all the dividers and such. I forgot about that, that she actually docked your grade. And then he had a few assignments he missed when he couldn’t purchase a compass last year.The ACLU says the student - who attends a school in an affluent Orange County neighborhood - was afraid to give his name because he feared school employees would retaliate against him.......The ACLU responds that budget cuts are no excuse for these fees. It has sued the State of California and the governor, lawyers say, to compel lawmakers to make sure the economy doesn’t make public education more unequal than it already is.
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
KPCC: Southern California Public Radio report. Listen to audio at this link: ACLU lawsuit: Public school fees are unconstitutional