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The Williams Settlement Legislation stems from Williams vs. State of California, a statewide class action lawsuit about California’s duty to provide every public school student with instructional materials, safe and decent school facilities, and qualified teachers. The case was settled in 2004. State legislators passed five pieces of legislation to implement the terms of the settlement known as the “Williams Settlement Legislation.”
The legislation requires that the County Superintendent of Schools conduct site visits to low performing schools ranked in deciles 1-3 on the 2012 Base Academic Performance Index (API), to determine the status of the following:
- If students have “sufficient” standard-aligned instructional materials in four core subject areas (English language arts, mathematics, history/social science, and science), including science laboratory equipment in grades 9-12, and, as appropriate, in foreign languages, and health;
- If there is any facility condition that “poses an emergency or urgent threat to the health or safety of pupils or staff;”
- If the school has provided accurate data on the annual School Accountability Report Card, related to the sufficiency of instructional materials, the safety, cleanliness, and adequacy of school facilities, including “good repair;”
During 2013-16 school years San Joaquin County has 89 schools
ranked in deciles 1 - 3 (based on the 2012 base API). Site visitations must be completed within the first four weeks of the new school year. Twenty-five percent of the visits are to be unannounced. Visitation teams are comprised of retired site, district, and county administrators along with the Director of School Equity.
The County Superintendent is required to annually submit a report to the Governing Board of each school district under his/her jurisdiction, the County Board of Education of his/her County, and the County Board of Supervisors of his/her county, describing the state of the schools in the county that are ranked in deciles 1 - 3 (2012 API), including observations while visiting the schools.