Declaring that it wants to correct four years of inaction by the Unified School District of Los Angeles over the denial of Federal Title I services to historically eligible low-income students attending Catholic schools, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles is suing the second largest school district in the country.
In the motion filed Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court, the archdiocese said it had no choice but to take legal action on behalf of students and families who have been harmed in communities such as Watts, South and East Los Angeles.
In 2018, a disagreement arose between LAUSD and the Archdiocese on how to calculate eligible Catholic schools. The archdiocese maintained that the district abruptly changed the process, sometimes more than once a year, and then excluded all schools where paperwork was considered deficient.
The petition calls for a court order directing the district to “enter into timely and meaningful consultations with (the Archdiocese) regarding the process by which the Title I allocation of (Archdiocese) schools was calculated.”
A representative from LAUSD said on Saturday that the district has yet to be served.
The Archdiocese filed an administrative complaint with the California Department of Education in September 2019 after LAUSD barred all Catholic schools, except 17 of the more than 100 previously eligible, from benefiting from federal services in the Title I, which help underachieving students with vital teaching services such as math and English. intervention and advice, the petition says.
A CDE report released in June called LAUSD’s action “flagrant”, “totally unreasonable” and “antithetical to good faith” and ordered LAUSD to establish “a timely and meaningful consultation with the archdiocese to rectify any errors within 60 days â.
While the Archdiocese has made a good faith effort to resolve the dispute with LAUSD, the district has yet to respond to the Archdiocese’s proposal to seek a resolution, according to the petition.
“This continues to leave thousands of needy students without the Title I services to which they are legally entitled under the federal program,” according to the archdiocese.