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Civil Rights Groups Lose Bid to Extend LAUSD Consent Decree

April 08, 2006|Paul Pringle | Times Staff Writer

Rejecting arguments that the measure had fallen short of its goals, a judge Friday declined to extend a 14-year court settlement that required the Los Angeles Unified School District to spend extra money on teacher training and other programs at some low-performing campuses.

The so-called Rodriguez consent decree obligated the district to set aside $11 million a year for the schools because they had large numbers of inexperienced teachers and administrators.

Civil rights groups that sued to obtain the decree had asked the court to extend it five more years, saying the district had not spent enough money on it. The settlement had been due to expire in December but was kept in force while the court considered the extension.

Superior Court Judge Joanne O'Donnell denied the plaintiffs' request Friday.

District officials said afterward that the decree was no longer needed because their efforts to improve teacher recruitment and training had worked.

"We have outlived it," said John Walsh, the district's assistant general counsel.

Lew Hollman, attorney for the plaintiffs, said "we're very disappointed" about the judge's decision.

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