Summary of DAC et. al. vs. LAUSD et. al. L.A.S.C. Case No. BC474879

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Summary of DAC et. al. vs. LAUSD et. al. L.A.S.C. Case No. BC474879 Powered By Docstoc
					                   Summary of DAC et. al. vs. LAUSD et. al.
                       L.A.S.C. Case No. BC474879.

       For at least about the past 30 years, parents of children receiving
supplemental educational benefits under Title I (20 U.S.C. §6301 et. seq.) from the
Los Angeles Unified School District (“LAUSD”) have organized in a district-wide
organization known as the District Compensatory Education Advisory Committee
(“DAC”), as well as various subcommittees of parents and community members
throughout the school district. The DAC represents about 1.2 million parents and,
under its Bylaws, has one elected position for every 5000 students, i.e. over 120
positions for over 600,000 students. It has operated continuously during the past
three decades. The DAC’s Bylaws, officers and members are voted and elected by
parents, and the DAC operates as any other unincorporated association in
California. A copy of the Bylaws is attached as Exhibit A to plaintiffs’ complaint.

      Throughout the decades, LAUSD has been required under the Title I federal
law, as a pre-condition for receiving the Title I funding from the federal and state
governments, to “agree” with parents in writing for “involvement” of the parents.
(20 U.S.C. §6318(a)(2)). The written agreement which has existed for decades,
and continues to exist through the present time, is entitled the “Title I Parent
Involvement Policy” (“TIPIP”). The most recent agreement of the TIPIP was
accepted by the parents, by and through their DAC, on April 21, 2006, and by the
LAUSD Board of Education on April 25, 2006, and has been in place without
changes since that time. A copy is attached as Exhibit B to plaintiffs’ complaint.

      On about August 11, 2011, John E. Deasy, Ph.D., announced in writing that
LAUSD had abolished the DAC and repudiated the TIPIP, and that LAUSD was
replacing the DAC and the TIPIP with a new parent involvement policy entitled
“Parents As Equal Partners” (“PAEP”) without any agreement of the DAC.
Although Dr. Deasy’s August 11th announcement stated that LAUSD’s Board of
Education had voted to replace the DAC and TIPIP, he later retracted that
statement on September 6, 2011 and wrote that such action was being taken by
him under unspecified authority he has as superintendent.

       The PAEP does not include a district-wide parent organization; it sets “term
limits” for parents in unspecified involvement henceforth and, without
exaggeration, demands that parents simply ‘implement’ the PAEP, period.
Needless to say, the PAEP has been rejected by the DAC. A purported “task
force” which worked on the concept of the PAEP in January and February of 2011
had 48 members. Based on records available to the DAC, only one person out of
the 48 member “task force” was a parent of children enrolled in LAUSD receiving
supplemental benefits under Title I. It is unknown whether that parent actually
supported any part of the PAEP. In other words, the PAEP is nothing more than a
cliché and a sham.
       The DAC believes that Dr. Deasy’s unilateral attack against the DAC and
the Title I parents is the culmination of several years of complaints by parents that
LAUSD has failed to perform its obligations for parent involvement under the
TIPIP. Dr. Deasy takes the position that he alone determines parent involvement
throughout the school district, and that the TIPIP is not enforceable.

       In the present case, the DAC seeks declaratory relief against LAUSD that it
can sue to enforce the TIPIP. In the alternative, parent officers of the DAC are
suing to enforce the TIPIP as a class action. The DAC argues that parents have
the right under the 1st Amendment to collectively organize and to assemble, and
that neither Dr. Deasy nor the LAUSD Board of Education can dictate such
organization and assembly to parents. The lawsuit also seeks injunctive relief.

        The lawsuit alleges that LAUSD holds the Title I funding as a trustee, and
that the trust for both parents and their children has accumulated in the total
amount of about $2.5 billion. The DAC and its parent officers seek equitable
relief for an accounting and restitution of Title I funding, as well as damages under
the federal civil rights law, 42 U.S.C. §1983.

       There is no statutory authority for the action taken by Dr. Deasy. On the
contrary, the authority is uniform that an unincorporated association such as the
DAC may sue to enforce a written agreement such as the TIPIP. Indeed, not even
Dr. Deasy’s employers’ Board of Education has publicly voted to take the
unilateral action which he has chosen. The 1st Amendment to the U.S.
Constitution was enacted to outlaw the very type of attack in which Dr. Deasy is
presently engaged. The DAC believes that Dr. Deasy’s unilateral attempt to
dismantle the district-wide parent organization which has existed for 30 years has
no serious chance of success. Moreover, it greatly jeopardizes LAUSD’s receipt
of almost $500 million in funding under Title I because such funding is pre-
conditioned on the TIPIP, which Dr. Deasy has repudiated without approval from

        LAUSD should immediately abandon the course which Dr. Deasy is
steering against the parents. Unilateral imposition of the PAEP patently violates
the 1st Amendment, Title I and the TIPIP. If LAUSD does not abandon Dr.
Deasy’s course, then the DAC and the parents have no alternative except to seek
adjudication in court as set forth in plaintiffs’ complaint.

      Counsel for plaintiffs is Los Angeles attorney, Robert A. Brown, Esq. A
website will soon be available for on-going information about the lawsuit and
contact information for counsel and DAC officers.

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