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Thursday, January 20, 2022

LA Archdiocese sues LAUSD over denial of federal funding to low-income Catholic school students

It seeks to fix four years of inaction by the Los Angeles Unified School District in relation to the denial of federal Title I services to historically eligible low-income students attending Catholic schools, saying it seeks to correct four years of inaction by the Los Angeles Unified School District. The archdiocese is suing the country’s second largest school district.

In a Los Angeles Superior Court petition brought Thursday, the archdiocese said it had no choice but to seek legal remedies on behalf of students and families who have been harmed in communities such as Watts, South and East Los Angeles.

In 2018, disagreements arose between the LAUSD and the archdiocese over how to calculate which Catholic schools were eligible. The archdiocese said the district abruptly changed the process, sometimes more than once a year, then excluded every school where paperwork was considered scant.

The petition has sought a court order directing the district to “engage in timely and fruitful consultation regarding the process by which (archdiocese) schools’ Title I allocations were computed.”

A representative for LAUSD said Saturday that the district has not yet been given a suit.

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The archdiocese filed an administrative complaint with the California Department of Education in September 2019 after LAUSD barred 17 of more than 100 previously eligible Catholic schools from receiving federal Title I services, which provide access to critical teaching services such as math and English. Along with helping the weak performing students. Intervention and consultation, the petition said.

A CDE report released in June called LAUSD’s action “serious,” “entirely unreasonable” and “contrary to good faith” and called on LAUSD “to rectify any errors within 60 days with the archdiocese in a timely and timely manner.” Directed to set up meaningful consultation”.

While the archdiocese has made a good faith effort to settle the dispute with LAUSD, according to the petition, the district has not yet responded to a resolution on the archdiocese’s proposal.

According to the archdiocese, “it continues to leave thousands of students in need without the Title I services they are legally entitled to under the federal program.”

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