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California Says Low-Income Students Will Be Harmed by Having Same Educational Benefits as Middle-Class Students

The issue of whether "money matters" in giving low-income students the "opportunity to learn" will figure prominently into the upcoming Williams v. State of California education funding case. Like state defendants in CFE v. State of New York and many other school funding cases, experts hired by California will testify that money will not help, and achievement among low-income students will not improve, if the state provides "the same quality of textbooks, teachers and classrooms" that middle-class students have. As reported in the San Francisco Chronicle, California will go one step further when its expert, pro-voucher Harvard Professor Caroline Hoxby, argues that these benefits would actually harm low-income students.

Plaintiffs will argue for certain essential learning tools and conditions in all schools when the trial begins in August 2004.

Prepared May 13, 2003