Count 7

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 

 

 

Enrollment: 

 

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.  

Source: http://data1.cde.ca.gov/dataquest/Cbeds3.asp?Enroll=on&PctEL=on&cSelect=3066464--Capistrano+Unified&cChoice=DstProf1&cYear=2014-15&cLevel=District&cTopic=Profile&myTimeFrame=S&submit1=Submit

Socioeconomically Disadvantaged:

21.2% of Students in CUSD are Socioeconomically Disadvantaged: 

Source: http://data1.cde.ca.gov/dataquest/Cbeds3.asp?FreeLunch=on&cSelect=3066464--Capistrano+Unified&cChoice=DstProf1&cYear=2014-15&cLevel=District&cTopic=Profile&myTimeFrame=S&submit1=Submit  

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  

The School Districts You Don't See on This Map Are as Telling as the Ones You Do See:

Summary: 
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.

Right now, 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.

This approach is backwards, and our teachers and kids deserve better.

Today, the President's Domestic Policy Council released a report breaking down the harmful effects of that legislation, and underlining the fundamental importance of dedicated funding for low-income students. You can read that report here.

And keep in mind what that funding could have gone toward: Hiring teachers, school nurses, counselors, or reading specialists. It could help pay for books and supplies — perhaps for a new curriculum. See what passage of the harmful cuts in H.R. 5 could mean to a district near you.


Meanwhile, take a look at a few of the districts that would stand to gain:

Loudon County Public Schools (Loudon County, VA) would see a funding increase of more than $1.7 million. Fewer than 4% of families there live below the poverty line.

Meanwhile, Richmond City Public Schools would see their funding cut by more than $5 million. More than 35% of families there are living in poverty.


Capistrano Unified School District (Orange County, CA) would receive more than $1.1 million in additional funds. Fewer than 9% of families there live below the poverty line.

Meanwhile, the Fresno Unified School District would see their funding cut by more than $4 million. More than 46% of families there live in poverty.


The Plano Independent School District (Plano, TX) would see their funding increase by more than $1.3 million. Fewer than 10% of families there live below the poverty line.

And yet, the Dallas Independent School District would lose more than $13 million in funding. More than 36% of families there are living in poverty.


If you think this is wrong, you're in good company.
Now, pass this on.


Want to dig deeper?

"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.

Bill Information

Fact Sheet: Student Success Act

Fact Sheet: Reducing the Federal Footprint and Restoring Local Control

Fact Sheet: Empowering Parents and Education Leaders to Hold Schools Accountable

Detailed Bill Summary: The Student Success Act Bill Text: Student Success Act

Infographics

Printable Pocket Card: 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:

source http://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d14/tables/dt14_236.70.asp?current=yes

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.