Editor:

The seven parents who authored the letter labeling Baca et al. vs. SMMUSD as an “unfair lawsuit,” and questioning why the plaintiffs did not use the District’s “simple process” for fee complaints, neglected to mention the essence of the alleged complaint: that SMMUSD is out of compliance with Ed Code. In other words, the District is accused of violating state law, specifically in regards to fees illegally charged to students. Instead, the group resorts to fallacious reasoning and ad hominem attacks, supported only by appeals to emotion.

Violations of Ed Code can have serious consequences for districts that fail to follow laws that have been enacted to protect students. LAUSD was hit with two large judgements, or consent decrees, during my teaching career. The Chanda Smith case forced the District to pay closer attention to Special Education students, and the Williams case forced District-wide funding equity for access to textbooks.

If SMMUSD is out of compliance with Ed Code in regard to student fees, as it appears from the complaint that it may be, then it needs to acknowledge that, and work with the State and/or the Court to remedy the situation. If the Board chooses to fight the lawsuit, they should be held accountable if/when the Court finds for the plaintiffs.

The fight for equity for all students is never a waste of public funds.

 

Glenna Dumey

Santa Monica

 

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