Black and Latino students in California are suffering most from the pandemic, a lawsuit says.

By , The New York Times

Families and community organizations in Los Angeles and Oakland sued California this week, saying that it has failed during the pandemic to provide low-income Black and Latino students the free and equal education that the State Constitution guarantees.

According to the lawsuit, California has failed to provide critical equipment, support and oversight as public schools have shifted to remote instruction in their effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. It says parents and grandparents have had to become tutors, counselors and computer technicians because of an inadequate response.

Students on the campus of a high school in California. A new lawsuit is pressuring California to address socioeconomic inequities in its public school system.
Salgu Wissmath for The New York Times

It is the latest in a series of legal efforts aimed at pressuring California to address socioeconomic inequities in its public school system.

Weeks before the pandemic began forcing schools to shutter classrooms in the spring, a $50 million legal settlement ended another suit brought by Public Counsel, a nonprofit legal aid organization, which filed on behalf of California students who were not getting adequate reading instruction in elementary schools. Public Counsel also was part of a coalition of advocacy groups that last year sued the University of California system, charging that its use of standardized testing for admissions was disadvantaging Black and Latino students.

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