Pass / Fail | So Cal education, LAUSD, the Cal States and the UCs

UTLA to file 600 complaint forms to report lack of critical student services

Students rally at Pershing Square.
Students rally at Pershing Square.
Mike Roe/KPCC

United Teachers Los Angeles plans to file more than 600 complaint forms today from hundreds of schools with the Los Angeles Unified School District to report a lack of equal and sufficient critical services for students.

State law requires schools provide sufficient textbooks and instructional materials; that school facilities are clean, safe and maintained; and that there be no teacher vacancies or misassignments, such as ensuring teachers have the proper certification and credential to teach a course.

When these conditions are not met, a Williams Complaint Form can be filed.

The more than 600 forms, which will be delivered this afternoon, were filled out by teachers and parents from more than 315 schools, according to statement from the union.

The union asserts that the district has severely impacted health and human services professionals, such as nurses, counselors and psychologists, through outsourcing, replacing them with other employees and volunteers, and issuing of 9,500 preliminary pink slips to teachers and such professionals.

On one of the forms a parent with a diabetic son wrote that her son's school does not have a nurse every day and that "his life depends on it."

L.A. Unified spokeswoman Monica Carazo said that such an example is a "bit of a stretch" of the Williams Complaint process.

The complaint process stems out of a 2000 class action lawsuit in San Francisco County that argued the state and its education agencies failed to provide students with equal access to instructional materials, safe and decent school facilities, and qualified teachers.

A settlement agreement in 2004 resulted in new laws that were expanded in 2007 (after another lawsuit) to include certain students beyond grade 12 and to aid in implementation of the settlement.

United Teachers Los Angeles plans to hold a press conference at 4:30 p.m. outside L.A. Unified headquarters and will provide more details on the complaints, said UTLA spokeswoman Marla Eby.

Tami Abdollah can be reached via email and on Twitter (@latams).