The right to an equal educational opportunity is a fundamental right for children in the United States. A quality education is their portal to professional success, societal integration, and personal achievement. MALDEF will continue its efforts to ensure that students have equal access to educational opportunities regardless of income, nationality, or language skills.
In Martinez v. State of New Mexico, a state court ruled that New Mexico’s education system violates the state constitution because it fails to provide students a sufficient public education.
Macias v. Filippini
Sanders v. Kern High School District
This case was filed in 1970 by the United States against the Ector County Independent School District for failing to desegregate its public schools and that same year, the United States District Court Judge ordered the District to desegregate. In 1981, MALDEF intervened on behalf of an organization of Latino and African American parents of school children because the District had never submitted a desegregation plan and the District continued to operate a dual school system.
In 1974, MALDEF filed a desegregation case on behalf of Latino parents and students in Tucson, Arizona. More than 30 years later, MALDEF continues to protect the rights of Latino and minority students in the district.
Los Angeles Conservancy v. Los Angeles Unified School District, Los Angeles Conservancy v. Salvador Guzman Sosa
MALDEF joined forces with the Los Angeles Unified School District, frustrated parents and students to fight against the Los Angeles Conservancy who moved to delay school construction. With successful results families who face the detrimental effects of overcrowded schools, can now anticipate three new schools in the area.
In a troubling and potentially short-sighted June 2007 decision, the United States Supreme Court held that school systems violated the Equal Protection clause when they considered race in assigning students to public schools to achieve desegregation. At issue in the two consolidated cases, Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District No. 1 and Meredith v. Jefferson County Board of Education, was the continued authority of local school districts to take voluntary action to reduce racial segregation and isolation in their schools.
MALDEF represented Latino parents who alleged that Preston Hollow Elementary School illegally used its ESL program to segregate Latino and minority students from Anglo students, irrespective of their language abilities.
In the most recent state school finance case, West Orange-Cove C.I.S.D. v. Neeley, wealthy school districts challenged the state financing system arguing that the tax cap prevented them from meeting the accreditation standards imposed by the state and from exercising meaningful discretion in setting their tax rates, thus constituting an illegal state tax.