September 7, 2001

SDUSD Parents Appeal to the U.S. Department of Education For Help

Members of the District Advisory Council (DAC) and other concerned San Diego Unified School District parents held a press conference at Kimbrough Elementary School on Wednesday, September 5. In an attempt to stop the school district from further misuse of federal, Title I funding, district parents have filed an appeal to Rod Paige, the United States Secretary of Education.

This appeal follows a 14-month long investigation by the California Department of Education (CDE) that was triggered by a complaint from the DAC against the district. The investigation found that the school district had violated state and federal law by illegally misallocating $62 million that was intended to help educationally disadvantaged youth.

(left to right) DAC members and parents Brenda LeSane, William Penick and Theresa Creber.

Despite this violation of state and federal law, the state authorities took no action to correct the situation. In this 15-page appeal, parents are asking the federal government to stop the district from further violations of the law and to stop the school district's "course of conduct that is stripping San Diego's disadvantaged youth of the opportunity to academically succeed now and in the future."

DAC parents and community representatives from about 100 schools meet monthly with school district staff to monitor funding and programs for the impoverished and low-achieving youngsters who comprise over half of all 143,000 San Diego students. The parent group has existed for over 20 years and was formed to comply with state and federal law requiring parent oversight of Title 1 and other funding for compensatory education programs.

Secretary of Education Rod Paige is scheduled to speak at a "Back to School, Moving Forward" rally at UCSD's Thurgood Marshal Field at 1:00 p.m, Friday, September 7.

Sherman and Kimbrough Elementary parents hold up signs showing low scores of minority students.

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