Williams Settlement


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.

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 AssignmentsSchool 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.

Williams Complaints

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.

For Districts

Timeline for District Quarterly Reports

Dates CoveredMonth of Board ApprovalReport 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 July 31

Quarterly UCP Report

All Decile 1-3 Schools in the Current Cohort

  1. Protocol Planning for Williams Site Visits
  2. Statement confirming posting of Uniform Complain Procedure (UCP) notice
  3. Master Calendar for the first 4 weeks of each school scheduled for review
  4. School Accountability Report Card (SARC) for each site visited
    • What needs to be in the SARC to be Williams compliant?
    • Do each of your SARCs have the date the facilities and instructional materials data were collected?
    • Do your SARCs list the textbooks used in the core areas, year of local adoption and whether or not they are from the most recent SBE adoption?
    • Do your SARCs have specific language as to the safety, cleanliness and adequacy of facilities, including maintenance to ensure good repair?
  5. School map for each school scheduled for review with room numbers identified and grade level
  6. Daily time/bell schedule for each school scheduled for review
  7. Copy of Board Resolution of Sufficiency of Approved Instructional Materials*
  8. Copy of Board minutes that identify the approved/adopted standards-aligned instructional materials listed by name
  9. Instructional Materials Survey/Inventory (Form C.2.1)
    • [see grade-specific templates below]
  10. Signed Verification of Current Inventory (Form C.2.2)
  11. Documentation for replacement fo materials (Form C.2.3)
  12. Most current enrollment figures: By school & grade level (Form C.2.4)
    • [see grade-specific templates below]
  13. Master Schedule with course titles, room numbers, and enrollment in each period of Williams specified courses (Middle and High Schools only)
  14. Completed Facilities Inspection Tool (FIT)
    • Please read through the Guidebook for reference

Common facilities issues: daisy chaining extension cords, light bulbs out, high storage that poses a safety hazard.

*If board resolution is not done - submit draft resolution

Elementary Schools

Middle Schools

High Schools

Helpful Links