from the city project blog
June 24th, 2008 - Diverse allies have filed a Williams complaint with the Los Angeles Unified School District to remedy physical education deficiencies.
Physical education teacher vacancies, misassignments, and lack of subject matter competency are recurring problems in various schools from semester to semester and year to year. Teacher deficiencies are part of a pattern and practice by LAUSD of failing to provide quality physical education.
Physical education matters. LAUSD is failing fitness. Physically fit students tend to do better academically and stay in school longer. The lack of quality physical education teachers and programs contributes to the epidemic of childhood obesity, particularly for low income students and students of color. Obesity rocketed from 20% to 26% in LAUSD from 1999 to 2006. 90% of LAUSD children are children of color, and 74% are low income (qualify for free or reduced meals).
The Williams Complaint is not a lawsuit. The process provides LAUSD the opportunity to work with the community and health experts to enforce the law and provide quality physical education rather than risk litigation and loss of state and federal funds.
Complainants include Anonymous, LAUSD parents Ike and Irene Kaludi, LAUSD physical education teacher Cathy Figel, Anahuak Youth Association, California Pan-Ethnic Health Network, Concerned Citizens of South Central Los Angeles, Prevention Institute, and The City Project.
LAUSD is required to remedy the deficiencies within 30 days and to report to the Complainants within 45 days.
37 school districts audited in California did not enforce state physical education minutes requirements in 2004-2006.
Click here to download the Complaint.
Learn more about the campaign to help students move more, eat well, stay healthy, and do their best in school in life.