Sonoma County Office of Education

Williams Settlement


Summary

On May 17, 2000, a group of civil rights organizations filed the Williams Case, a class action, on behalf of public school students in San Francisco County Superior Court. The lawsuit claimed that the State of California, the California Department of Education (CDE), and local educational agencies (LEAs) failed to provide equal access to instructional materials, qualified teachers, and safe school facilities. A settlement agreement was announced on August 13, 2004 and went into effect during the 2007-2008 school year.

School site visits must be completed within the first 20 days of a new school year and twenty-five percent of the visits must be unannounced. Validation teams review Instructional Materials and Textbooks, School Facilities, Teacher Assignments, School Accountability Report Cards (SARC) and Uniform Complaint Procedures (UCP). An annual report is then submitted to the School Board of each school district visited, the County Board of Education, and the County Board of Supervisors describing the state of the decile 1-3 schools in the county.

Williams Complaints

Every county office of education, school district, and charter school governing board is required to have established local complaint policies that describe the procedures that must be followed to resolve a complaint. A Williams Complaint regards instructional materials, facilities conditions, and teacher assignments and may be filed anonymously. These complaints are delivered to a principal, or their designee, of the school in which the complaint arises. Schools have complaint forms available for these UCP complaints but will not reject a complaint if the form is not used as long as the complaint is submitted in writing.

Requirements for all Districts

  • » Hold a public hearing on Instructional Materials
  • » Ensure that all teachers are appropriately credentialed
  • » Establish a facilities inspection system using the FIT
  • » Update and publicize SARCs annually by February 1st
  • » Post classroom notices
    • » In a second/third language when appropriate
  • » Update policies for Uniform Complaint Procedures
  • » Report quarterly data on complaints to COE (form below)

Quarterly UCP Report

Please submit Board approved UCP Quarterly reports to eselim@scoe.org.

Quarterly Report Williams Uniform Complaints (PDF)

Quarterly Report Williams Uniform Complaints (Word)


Timing

Dates Covered Month of Board Approval Report due to SCOE
Q1: 7/1 to 9/30 October October 31
Q2: 10/1 to 12/31 January January 31
Q3: 1/1 to 3/31 April April 30
Q4: 4/1 to 6/30 July (August if Board does not meet in July) July 31

Requirements for Williams Sites Selected for Monitoring

Assembly Bill (AB) 599 (Chapter 667, Statutes of 2021) became effective on January 1, 2022, and updates the criteria for schools eligible for monitoring under the Williams settlement legislation. Below are the steps for identified schools to prepare for site visits:

  • » School/District Checklist
  • » Protocol Planning for Williams Settlement Site Visit
  • » Statement confirming posting of uniform complaint
  • » Instructional Materials Survey/Inventory (C.2.1)
  • » Signed Verification of Current Inventory (C2.2)
  • » Documentation for replacement of materials (C.2.3)
  • » Current enrollment: By school & grade level (C.2.4)
  • » Facilities Inspection Tool (FIT) - FIT Guidebook
  • » Master Calendar for the first 4 weeks of school
  • » SARC Report
  • » School map with room numbers identified and grade level
  • » Daily time/bell schedule
  • » Copy of Board Resolution of Sufficiency of approved instructional materials
  • » Copy of Board minutes that identify the approved/adopted standards-aligned instructional materials