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Civil Rights Lawsuit Over Teacher Layoffs Filed Against LAUSD

The ACLU and other attorneys filed a lawsuit on behalf of students at three inner-city, Los Angeles Unified School District middle schools alleging that recent, budget-related layoffs infringe on their equal rights to a decent education.

The ACLU of Southern California, the Public Counsel Law Center and the law firm of Morrison & Foerster LLP are representing plaintiffs who attend Gompers, Liechty and Markham middle schools. Attorney's claim that nearly three-fourths of the teachers at Liechty received layoff notices and at Markham nearly the entire English department and every eighth-grade history teacher were cut.

"At a time when California is already 46th in the nation in per-pupil spending -- and is about to drop lower -- our state and school district have chosen to balance their budgets by decimating the teaching corps at schools like Gompers, Liechty and Markham -- schools which serve nearly exclusively students of color from low-income families,'' said Mark Rosenbaum, chief counsel for the ACLU of Southern California.

"Every student knows that you don't reform a school by removing great teachers," he said. "If government can bail out the bankers of Wall Street, then it can bail out the children of Watts and Pico-Union."

The district had no response.


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