The District has not yet received a copy of the complaint
PASO ROBLES — On Dec. 1, The Paso Robles Joint Unified School District (PRJUSD) issued a response to media regarding a complaint filed with the Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights (OCR).
A complaint was filed on June 2, titled: Complaint Concerning Discriminatory Treatment of Latinx and Limited English Proficient Parents and Community Members.
A copy of the complaint can be found here: lccrsf.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/OCR-Complaint-Draft-06-02-21-with-signatures.pdf.
Paso Robles Press has reached out to PRJUSD to verify the complaint they are responding to, but as stated in the response below, the District has not received a copy of the complaint.
The District did tell the Paso Robles Press it is their understanding that the June 2, 2021 complaint is the complaint that initiated inquiry from various media outlets. They did say they have only received one letter from OCR.
The PRJUSD response:
Today, a request was made for comment regarding the Paso Robles Joint Unified School District (PRJUSD) and the United States Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights (OCR), which is responsible for compliance with federal civil rights laws. The District and Board are aware that a complaint was filed with OCR, although we have not been provided a copy of it.
The District welcomes the opportunity to show evidence of our compliance with applicable law and engagement of all members of our school community in the governance of our District. We have already corrected any deficiencies in that compliance. The District firmly denies any discrimination against Latino students or their families and has numerous initiatives to ensure the participation of all members of our community.
The District has conducted a series of public, transparent reviews of the possible closure of an elementary school and conducted significant community outreach on this topic, including holding meetings in Spanish and providing translation services. That process is still ongoing and no decisions have been made by the Board nor any votes taken.
Among the important considerations in this process is ensuring that the District’s highly successful Spanish-English dual immersion program remains open. The District has repeatedly committed to keeping the Georgia Brown program open with our full support, no matter at what site it is located. The District is also working to address the challenge of significant infrastructure issues at the Georgia Brown site. Many of those problems may be beyond repair. All of Paso Robles’ students deserve safe facilities conducive to a positive learning environment. We must balance these considerations when doing what is best for our students and community.
Moreover, the District recently went through the process of changing its method of elections to ensure that Latino members of our community have the opportunity to elect leaders they choose and to influence the outcome of elections through the California Voting Rights Act or CVRA. The CVRA process is intended to engage underrepresented members of our school community as educational leaders.
The District also provides translation of all school board meetings in Spanish, provides Spanish speaking members of the public additional time for public comment, and provides translation services to assist in making public comment. This has been a real priority given the level of concern that has been voiced.
The District endeavors to go above and beyond to ensure all members of our community are informed and able to participate in all aspects of the education of the Paso Robles community’s children. We also welcome any conversation with members of our community who have suggestions to help us increase community participation.
The District looks forward to a timely and productive process to resolve any remaining issues.
Curt Dubost, Superintendent