Attorneys for students who want Los Angeles Unified to fix their class scheduling problems caused by the mismanaged rollout of the district's data system say the district's plan to cure the issues may fall short.
According to the attorneys, the district has yet to explain how officials came up with the number of students -- 48 at Jefferson High School -- who were given two or more non-academic classes, one of the issues that have caused students to lose critical instructional time.
In a court filing Thursday, the students' attorneys said L.A. Unified officials and representatives from the State Board of Education and California Department of Education have failed to detail their method for counting the number of students impacted.
“It’s a pretty significant question, about whether the plan addresses the full scope of the problem at Jefferson,” said the ACLU's David Sapp, one of the attorneys who helped file a lawsuit on students’ behalf.
“We don’t know the exact numbers, but this is not just one or two students,” he said.
The questions arise as Jefferson school officials began implementing the class scheduling improvement plan this week. Principal Jack Foote said 10 teachers are using one of their free periods to teach additional classes and the school has hired three more teachers.
“We’re working very hard to correct these errors and to really get ourselves on track,” Foote said.
Regarding the tally of students affected by the scheduling problems, Foote said: “I believe it to be accurate.” The state board, education department and attorney general did not comment on Thursday's court filing.
Two weeks ago, Alameda Superior Court Judge George Hernandez ruled the loss of learning time at Jefferson caused by the scheduling problems was so egregious that students’ rights were violated.
He ordered state officials to meet with L.A. Unified officials and develop an improvement plan for Jefferson that would be in place by Nov. 3.
The plan developed by the district calls for additional classes, longer school days and more staffing. School board members approved $1.1 million to implement the changes.
Attorneys for the students intend to press ahead for more details on the size of the problem at Jefferson.
“If we haven’t received the information by next week, we may request that the court allow us to go in and get the information from district staff or state officials,” Sapp said.