Revisiting Rodriguez v. Los Angeles Unified School District: A Case of Intra-district Inequities

Ruben W. Espinosa


The educational community and the courts continue to struggle with the challenges of intradistrict resource inequality revealed by the California Supreme Court landmark case Rodriguez v. Los Angeles Unified School District (1992). Intra-district school resource inequality is one of the remaining bastions of major inequalities in the United States. Academic researchers and school districts have yet to develop and examine current intra-district frameworks and models for effectively implementing and monitoring equality of resources. In short, this area that affects the quality of education for our children in schools should be a priority for our nation. This is especially true in LAUSD.

The purpose of this article is to revisit not only the consent decree, but also a comprehensive timeline of the Rodriguez case (1980-2007). Surprisingly, very little has been published on this important case especially regarding the actual results and basis for this case. More specifically, the author examines the pre-consent decree era (1980-1986). This pre-consent section reveals that Mexican American Parents initiated the consent decree, and the Espinosa LAUSD Study (1985) results provided the research basis for the consent decree. The second section includes the timeframe between 1986 and 1992 regarding the negotiations and the agreed upon consent decree framework. The third section examines the post-consent decree era (1992-2007) with a focus on the implementation of the consent decree. The final section is a discussion on the Rodriguez v. LAUSD case.


finance; resources; equity

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