June 3, 2016
Tallahassee, Fla. – Yesterday, the Foundation for Excellence in Education (ExcelinEd) joined the California Chamber of Commerce, Silicon Valley Leadership Group, Orange County Business Council, and Valley Industry & Commerce Association in signing an Amici Curiae letter in the case known as Vergara v. California. The Amici Curiae, or “friend of the court,” letter supports the plaintiffs’ petition for review by the California Supreme Court of students’ constitutional right to equal access to effective classroom teachers. The Supreme Court will decide this summer whether to grant review.
“Giving every child the opportunity and tools to succeed should be our highest priority,” said Patricia Levesque, CEO of ExcelinEd. “From the data and our own experiences we know the magic teachers can work in the classroom. Yet the children most in need of the best teachers are least likely to wind up in their classrooms. We ask the court to support a student’s right to an effective classroom teacher and review the critical issues in this case.”
During an extensive trial, the trial court found there was overwhelming evidence that California law denies low-income and minority students equal access to the most important education resource our schools provide – effective teachers. As a result, the laws violate the fundamental, constitutional right to equal educational opportunity of California’s most vulnerable populations of students.
Background: In May 2012, with the help of Students Matter, nine students in California public schools filed Vergara v. California asserting their right to equal access to effective teachers. In 2014, the trial court struck down a series of laws that “disproportionally affect poor and/or minority students” by violating their state constitutional guarantees of an adequate public education. Unfortunately, that decision was overturned earlier this year by the California Court of Appeals for the Second District. To learn more visit www.StudentsMatter.org.