Williams Settlement

  • In May 2000, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and other public interest advocates representing students across the state filed a lawsuit against the State of California, the Superintendent of Public Instruction, and the State Board of Education, and the California Department of Education. The lawsuit claimed that the State failed to provide poor and underprivileged students with equal education opportunities.  The Eliezer Williams, et al., vs. State of California, et al. (Williams) case was filed as a class action suit in 2000 and settled in 2004.

    The Williams Lawsuit Settlement requires that all students have sufficient books and that their school be clean and safe. It takes steps toward assuring that schools have qualified teachers and holds schools accountable for delivering these fundamental elements to students. As part of the Williams Lawsuit Settlement, California Education Code Section 1240 required that County Offices of Education visit schools identified in their counties and report the results of the visits to the School District Board of Trustees, County Board of Education and County Board of Supervisors.

    In the case of Del Norte Unified School District, which is the only public school district within a single county, Williams Settlement review services are contracted out to another county. In this case, the Humboldt County Office of Education provided these services.

    The following report provides a detailed description of all of the items and areas covered by the Fall, 2021 Williams review of the Del Norte Unified School District.

    To summarize:

    • Three school sites, Bess Maxwell, Smith River, and Joe Hamilton were reviewed.
    • At each of these schools, all instructional materials were found to be sufficient.
    • For each school site reviewed, required (and updated) information on the School Accountability Report Card (SARC) was available on the District’s website at the time of the site visit.
    • Each of the three schools met their teacher assignment requirements, reporting no active vacancies.
    • Each of the three schools met their Uniform Complaint Procedure (UCP) requirements.
    • Each of the three schools was found to be in “Good Condition,” via the Facilities Inspection Tool (FIT) instrument. However, each school had some areas of deficiency that were included in the accompanying report. 

    Click here to see the results from the 2021 Williams Review for Del Norte Unified School District. 

    If you have any questions or would like further information about the Williams Settlement and the Del Norte Unified School District, please contact Tom Kissinger, EdD, Assistant Superintendent, Educational Services. He can be reached by calling (707) 464-0203 or by email at tkissinger@dnusd.org.