To Settle a Lawsuit, California Will Shift $2 Billion to Students Hurt by Pandemic Shutdowns

California has agreed to direct $2 billion to evidence-based supports for children who were hurt most by learning disruptions during the pandemic, settling a long-running class-action lawsuit.

The lawsuit stems from months of pandemic school closures in 2020 and 2021. California, like many states, used remote instruction during those shutdowns.

Los Angeles and Oakland students in the education equity lawsuit Cayla J. v. California, filed in 2020, accused the state and its education officials of not providing guidance, support, and oversight during that time, allowing massive instructional and technology gaps to widen between low-income students and their wealthier peers, particularly for students in remote learning during school closures.

Cayla J. and Kai J., twins among the 15 low-income students of color in the lawsuit, were in 2nd grade on March 17, 2020 when their Oakland schools closed during the pandemic, and had only two classes for the rest of that school year. The twins’ mother, Angela J., said she “felt like her children had been written off.”

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