School Funding

Los Angeles school district withheld funding for poor Catholic schools, lawsuit says

A The Archdiocese of California is suing its local school district for withholding funding for Catholic schools.

The Archdiocese of Los Angeles is suing the Unified School District of Los Angeles, seeking a court order that would require the school district to “engage in timely and meaningful consultation with (the Archdiocese) regarding the process by which the award of Title I of schools (of the archdiocese) was calculated, ”the archdiocese alleging that the district had withheld funding for local Catholic schools, especially those in poor communities.

LAUSD “has openly and consistently acted to prevent federally funded services from reaching eligible low-income (archdiocese) students,” the Archdiocese alleges in the lawsuit, filed Thursday in California Superior Court.

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LAUSD had increased its own federal funding by denying Catholic schools in the archdiocese, says the archdiocese.

The two local organizations have been under strained conditions since 2018, when LAUSD and the Archdiocese discussed which Catholic schools were eligible for federal funding, according to the Daily breeze. Funding comes from Title I of the Primary and Secondary Education Act and provides financial assistance to local education providers based on the proportion of their participants with low income. The archdiocese argues that the district changed the process required for said funding, often more than once a year, and then excluded schools that did not complete the necessary paperwork.

The archdiocese filed a complaint with the California Department of Education in September 2019, alleging that the school district had barred all but 17 Catholic schools in the area from receiving funding.

A report published by the CDE in July ruled that LAUSD had 60 days to establish “timely and meaningful consultations” with the Archdiocese.

LAUSD has said it “strives to comply with all applicable rules and regulations regarding the provision of fair Title I services”, according to RNS.

“LAUSD has no comment on pending or pending litigation,” a school district spokesperson told the Washington Examiner.

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A representative of the Archdiocese did not respond to the the Washington Examiner request for comment.


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