Count 7 - The State of California is depriving every student in the Capistrano Unified School District of their constitutional right to equal opportunity to achieve a quality education simply because they happen to live in what is perceived to be a "wealthy" area, with a low percentage of students who are English Language Learners, Receiving Free and Reduced Lunch, or are in Foster Care; irrespective of an individual students wealth, race or ethnicity. Such invidious discrimination is a violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution as well as a violation of Article I § 7 and Article 4 § 16 of the California Constitution commonly known as the equal protection laws of California's Constitution.
1. There is a growing resentment in the United States that wealth, and those who have obtained wealth, deserve to be punished. The Capistrano Unified School District is perceived to be one of the wealthiest school Districts in the United States, and therefore students and taxpayers in the district are not entitled to the same constitutional protections as students and taxpayers in other districts.
2. District Overview:
Capistrano Unified is the second largest school district in Orange County, California and the 8th largest school district in the state.
Median Household Income:
State of California: $61,400
Orange County: $75,566
Capistrano Unified School District:
Aliso Viejo: $98,515
Cota de Caza: $169,176
Dana Point: $80,938
Ladera Ranch: $131,893
Laguna Niguel: $100,589
Las Flores: $128,301
Mission Viejo: $96,088
Rancho Santa Margarita: $102,975
San Clemente: $87,184
San Juan Capistrano: $75,356
Source: Source: United States Census Bureau: http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/06/06059.html
2014-15 Enrollment 54,036 students
25.6% - Hispanics or Latino of any race (2013-14 25.1% - Increase of .5%)
< 1% - American Indian or Alaskan Native, Not Hispanic (no real change)
5.6% - Asian Not Hispanic, Not Hispanic (2013-14 5.4% - Increase of .2%)
< 1% - Pacific Islander, Not Hispanic (no real change)
1.7% - Fillpino, Not Hispanic (2013-14 1.59% - Increase of 1.1%
1.3% - African American, Not Hispanic (2013-14 1.3% - No Change)
57.3% - White, Not Hispanic (2013-14 60.2% - Decline of 2.9%)
6.2% - Two or more races, Not Hispanic (2013-14 8% - Decline of 1.8%)
1.7% - Not Reported (no real change)
Source: California Department of Education Demographics Unit: http://dq.cde.ca.gov/dataquest/Enrollment/EthnicEnr.aspx?cChoice=DistEnrEth&cYear=2014-15&cSelect=3066464--Capistrano%20Unified&TheCounty=&cLevel=District&cTopic=Enrollment&myTimeFrame=S&cType=ALL&cGender=B
English Language Learners:
9.8% of Students are English Language Learners.
21.2% of Students in CUSD are Socioeconomically Disadvantaged:
3. There is a growing resentment in the United States that wealth, and those who have obtained wealth, deserve to be
punished. The Capistrano Unified School District is perceived to be one of the wealthiest school Districts in the United States, and therefore students and taxpayers in the district are not entitled to the same constitutional protections as students and taxpayers in other districts.
Source: White House Blog at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2015/02/13/school-districts-you-dont-see-map-tell-much-story-ones-you-do-see
"We have more work to do so every child has access to a great public education, but Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives are advancing legislation (H.R. 5) that would cement recent education cuts, taking funding from the schools that need it most and giving it to some of the nation’s wealthiest districts."
What Miss Holt really meant to say is that "we have more work to do so every child [except those that live in wealthy areas] has access to a great public education..."
The Post By Lindsay Holst was written in response to the passage of the Student Success Act (H.R.5). On February 11th, 2015 the House Committee on Education and the Workforce passed the Student Success Act (H.R. 5) to reauthorize and reform the No Child Left Behind Act through 2021.
Fact Sheet: Student Success Act
Detailed Bill Summary: The Student Success Act Bill Text: Student Success Act
In response, the White House Released a report "Investing in our Future: Helping Teachers and Schools Prepare Our Children for College and Careers".
See the Full report at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/docs/final_investing_in_our_future_report.pdf
The report is claiming that amendments to the Federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act could cut $7 billion in Title I funding over the six years and would result in increased funding to "Wealthy " School districts such as the Capistrano Unified School District in Orange County, California
While there may be a lot of wealthy people living within the Capistrano Unified School District boundaries, CUSD is one of the most underfunded school districts in the United States. Every student in CUSD is being deprived of their fundamental right to relatively equal opportunity to achieve a quality education (especially CUSD students who are English Language Learners, Receiving Free and Reduced lunch and are Foster kids). All students in CUSD, irrespective of their individual wealth, race or ethnicity are receiving inadequate funding simply because they live in what is perceived to be a wealthy area.
In 2014-15 the Capistrano Unified school District received $7,693 in per pupil funding with that amount projected to increase to (and be capped at $8,500) by 2021.
In 2014-15 Fresno Unified (the District Ms. Holt used as a comparison) received $9,188 ($1,495 per student more than CUSD). Source: http://www.cde.ca.gov/ds/fd/ec/currentexpense.asp
Had CUSD received $1.1 million in additional funding that would have amounted to about $20 per student.
The difference in ADA of $1,495 will not withstand constitutional scrutiny under the State or Federal Constitution, and applicable State and Federal case law as referenced in Counts 1 - 7 of this complaint and incorporated herein. In both, Serrano II and Rodriquez, the Courts held that the State funding law did not violate the Equal Protection laws because the state provided an adequate education to all students, and funding across all districts was within $100 of each other. That is not the case in California today. Under the State's new funding law, per pupil funding varies from a low of $5,819 per student in the Richmond Elementary School District to a high of $106,031 per student in the New Jerusalem Elementary School District. This level of disparity is unconscionable and would not satisfy Equal Protection requirements at the State or Federal level today.
Source: Cost Per ADA 2013-2014: http://www.cde.ca.gov/ds/fd/ec/currentexpense.asp
*Note: Orange County is Code #30, San Joaquin County is Code #39 and Lassen County is Code #18
The latest data from the National Center for Education Statistics reported in 2013 for 2011-12:
The State average per pupil funding in California in 2011-12 was $9,608.
The National average per pupil funding was $11,363.
The State of California is intentionally underfunding CUSD by $1,915 per pupil X 54,036 students = $103.5 million per year compared to State average per pupil funding.
The State of California is intentionally underfunding CUSD by $3,670 per pupil X 54,036 students = $198.5 million per year compared to the national average per pupil funding.
The continued, and intentional lack of adequate funding provided to CUSD has resulted in a continued decline in academic performance across all demographics as evidenced in this complaint and incorporated herein.
The continued, and intentional lack of adequate funding pits the economic interests of employees against what is in the best interest of students resulting in all kinds of illegal activities. The District has been forced to rely on donations, illegal fundraising, illegal taxation, and illegal fees to make up for funding deficiencies.
EVERY student in Capistrano Unified is being deprived of an opportunity to achieve a quality education simply because of where they happen to live, and irrespective of their individual wealth, race or ethnicity. That is a violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution as well as a violation of Article I § 7 and Article 4 § 16 of the California Constitution commonly known as the equal protection laws of California's Constitution.
Use of the State's public education system to "redistribute wealth" and promote a political agenda that favors one class of student over another constitutes invidious discrimination. California's funding system must be reviewed by the Court using strict judicial scrutiny and if found to be in violation of the law, emergency relief must be granted to plaintiffs.