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Virtual Learning Inequities

Overview

All students in California, whether remote or in-person, deserve access to equal education under the California Constitution. Throughout our state’s history, this access has been denied to students of color and students from low-income backgrounds. In early 2020, California schools shifted to remote learning without a plan to address gaps like broadband connectivity, consistency of instruction, and social and emotional health for underserved students. This situation has compounded an existing education gap for Black and Latinx students from low-income backgrounds, and without leadership and a plan from the state, the gap will only continue to widen. 

Eight months after California’s shift to remote education, Public Counsel along with Morrison & Foerster filed a lawsuit against the State of California charging that it violated its constitutional obligation to give students equal access to a sound, basic education. The lawsuit plaintiffs include seven families across the state and community-based organizations The Oakland Reach and Community Coalition. The lawsuit seeks to get relief for families by pushing the State to address major gaps in the current system including access to technology, social-emotional support, and ineffective remote instruction. 

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