On May 17, 2000, a group of civil rights organizations filed the Williams Case, a class action, on behalf of public school students in San Francisco County Superior Court. The lawsuit claimed that the State of California, the California Department of Education (CDE), and local educational agencies (LEAs) failed to provide equal access to instructional materials, qualified teachers, and safe school facilities. A settlement agreement was announced on August 13, 2004 and went into effect during the 2007-2008 school year.
All California public schools are affected by the Williams Settlement because the requirements and accountability measures apply to all school districts. County Superintendents conduct yearly site visits to decile 1-3 schools based on CDE’s 2012 Academic Performance Index (API). Because no new legislation has been passed to replace the API, the 2012 cohort of schools continue to be visited annually. Beginning with the 2021-2022 school year, a new list of Williams schools was selected as per AB 599.
School site visits must be completed within the first 20 days of a new school year and twenty-five percent of the visits must be unannounced. Validation teams review Instructional Materials and Textbooks, School Facilities, Teacher Assignments, School Accountability Report Cards (SARC) and Uniform Complaint Procedures (UCP). An annual report is then submitted to the School Board of each school district visited, the County Board of Education, and the County Board of Supervisors describing the state of the decile 1-3 schools in the county.
Every county office of education, school district, and charter school governing board is required to have established local complaint policies that describe the procedures that must be followed to resolve a complaint. A Williams Complaint regards instructional materials, facilities conditions, and teacher assignments and may be filed anonymously. These complaints are delivered to a principal, or their designee, of the school in which the complaint arises. Schools have complaint forms available for these UCP complaints but will not reject a complaint if the form is not used as long as the complaint is submitted in writing.
Requirements for all Districts
- Hold a public hearing on Instructional Materials
- Ensure that all teachers are appropriately credentialed
- Establish a facilities inspection system using the FIT
- Update and publicize SARCs annually by February 1st
- Post classroom notices
- In a second/third language when appropriate - EC 48985
- Update policies for Uniform Complaint Procedures
- Report quarterly data on complaints to COE (form below)
Quarterly UCP Report
Please submit Board approved UCP Quarterly reports to email@example.com.
|Dates Covered||Month of Board Approval||Report due to SMCOE|
|Q1: 7/1 to 9/30||October||October 31|
|Q2: 10/1 to 12/31||January||January 31|
|Q3: 1/1 to 3/31||April||April 30|
|Q4: 4/1 to 6/30||July (August if Board does not meet in July)||July 31|
Requirements for Williams Sites Selected for Monitoring
Assembly Bill (AB) 599 (Chapter 667, Statutes of 2021) became effective on January 1, 2022, and updates the criteria for schools eligible for monitoring under the Williams settlement legislation. Below are the steps for identified schools to prepare for site visits:
- School/District Checklist (via Informed K-12)
- Protocol Planning for Williams Settlement Site Visit (via Informed K-12)
- Statement confirming posting of uniform complaint (sample)
- Instructional Materials Survey/Inventory (C.2.1) [elementary school template, middle school template, high school example]
- Signed Verification of Current Inventory (C2.2) [via Informed K-12]
- Documentation for replacement of materials (C.2.3) [sample]
- Current enrollment: By school & grade level (C.2.4) [via Informed K-12]
- Facilities Inspection Tool (FIT) - FIT Guidebook
- Master Calendar for the first 4 weeks of school
- SARC Report
- School map with room numbers identified and grade level
- Daily time/bell schedule
- Copy of Board Resolution of Sufficiency of approved instructional materials (suggested Board Resolution)
- Copy of Board minutes that identify the approved/adopted standards-aligned instructional materials
Common facilities issues: Daisy-chaining extension cords, light bulbs out, high storage that poses a safety hazard.
*If board resolution is not done, submit a draft resolution
Update for Williams Settlement in 2022-2023
Governor Gavin Newsom approved Assembly Bill (AB) 599 (Chapter 667, Statutes of 2021) on October 8, 2021, directing the California Department of Education (CDE) to develop a new list of schools, including charters, for monitoring by county offices of education (COE) required by the Williams Case, commencing with the 2021–22 school year.
AB 599 revises California Education Code (EC) Section 1240, which prescribes the duties, responsibilities, and general powers of COEs, including the jurisdictional monitoring of schools, including charter schools, for the following:
- Teacher misassignments and teacher vacancies, pursuant to EC Section 44258.9
- Instructional materials sufficiency, pursuant to EC Section 60119
- School facilities, pursuant to EC Section 17592.72
- The accuracy of data reported on school accountability report cards (SARC) with respect to instructional materials sufficiency and conditions of school facilities
The 2021–22 schools identified for monitoring under the Williams case will be schools identified for comprehensive support and improvement (CSI) and additional targeted support and improvement (ATSI) pursuant to the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) [Public Law 114-95]. Additionally, those schools with fifteen percent or more of the school’s teachers that do not possess a valid and clear or preliminary teaching credential are eligible for inclusion on the 2021–22 list of Williams schools.
The new list of schools identified for monitoring is now available on the Williams Case – Schools Identified for Monitoring web page at https://www.cde.ca.gov/eo/ce/wc/willamsmonitoring.asp. Additional information, including a list of frequently asked questions, and a link to EC Section 1240 are also available on this web page.