Students, educators sue California over school funding changes in this year’s budget

California Connection

(KTXL) — A group of students and educators is suing California over school funding changes in this year’s education budget.

They say a part of the latest state budget, trailer bill SB 98, illegally changes requirements that state funding follows a child when that child moves to a new school.

The lawyers representing those students and administrators said this case is the most important educational civil rights case to be brought about since Brown v. Board of Education.

“For years, scholars who look like me have not been afforded equal and proper educations nor educational opportunities,” said Nylah DuBose with the Fortune School of Education. “But all of this is changing rapidly with the fabrication of schools like Fortune School, where educational equity, accurate history and family dynamics are at the root of it all.”

Those are some of the reasons why the rising high school senior said she is behind the lawsuit.

The growing nine-campus charter school system DuBose is a part of in Sacramento County is due to lose $4.5 million meant for new enrollees if SB 98 stands. In a sense, it’s money that’s already been spent in building new campuses for those kids and expanding grade offerings.

It’s just one example of how the plaintiffs say this trailer bill will hurt.

“This case is called Samaiyah Atkins v. The State of California,” explained Dr. Margaret Fortune, the president and CEO of the Fortune School of Education. “It’s unfair to Samaiyah to have her public education completely defunded and for state leaders to have the audacity to call that equity.”

“It is never acceptable to value someone’s public education at zero,” said attorney Jerry Simmons. “But it is particularly egregious when a public school is serving almost exclusively low-income students of color as some of the plaintiffs with us here this morning do. It is also unconscionable that the state would turn its back on any public school after it has spent years to plan its growth.”

In his signing message for this part of the budget, the governor suggested the Legislature revisit this issue but has yet to respond to FOX40’s request for comment about the matter.

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