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Pioneer High School

Williams Law

In 2005 more than 40 bay area students and their parents, with help from the American Civil Liberties Union, filed a lawsuit against the state of California. Their claim was that local school districts were failing to provide adequate facilities, materials and qualified teachers. When this later became a class action lawsuit, it expanded to include all public school districts in California. This suit, known as Williams v California was settled in 2004 by Governor Schwarzenegger. Five new laws, collectively known as the Williams legislation were passed as a result (Senate Bill 550, Assembly Bill 2727, Assembly Bill 1550, Assembly Bill 3001, Senate Bill 6). These laws require schools to, among other things, certify to the state that their teachers are qualified to teach their assigned classes, that there are adequate textbooks for each student, that there are adequate materials for science classroom laboratories, and that the school facilities are safe and clean. Schools are also required to post signs in each classroom describing parents' and students' right to complain if these conditions are not met.