Education Rights

How Public Counsel Fights for California Students


Education Rights at Public Counsel

We unite litigation, legislative and policy change, direct service and community  partnerships to create a model for education reform across California.

California students face enormous challenges to educational success. Too many foster youth fall through the cracks, moving from school to school without ever moving ahead. Too many youth lose out on an education when they wind up in the juvenile justice system. Too many students with disabilities miss out on a quality education. Too many students find prison, not promise, at the end of their educational journey. Too many youth are pushed out of school by harsh discipline policies. Too many schools fail to deliver on the promise of educational opportunity for all including quality teachers and stable, well-funded schools.



What we believe

Public Counsel believes schools need to create opportunity, foster equality, and promote success for all students. Here are our focus areas:

Guiding foster youth to success

Longtime foster youth need extra help to make it as adults. Public Counsel is expanding its ability to protect and expand legislative protections in Sacramento for foster youth in our schools and ensure that statewide policy reflects best practices for supporting their success. 

Fixing School Discipline

We believe there are better alternatives to harsh discipline practices that cause students to miss learning time, and push students out of school. Instead with work with community members and education professionals to dentify and enact solutions that work for all students and strengthen schools. We have develop a comprehensive set of resources and materials:

Putting students on a path to graduation, not prison

Police and courts, not teachers and parents, control the educational future of too many of California’s students. For them the “school to prison pipeline” isn’t a metaphor, it’s an everyday reality. Public Counsel is advocating for effective reforms that keep kids in class and out of the courtroom and to expand research-based alternatives  with a proven track record of reducing out-of-school suspensions, and increasing learning and student graduation.

Expanding educational opportunity for children

Public Counsel works through education, litigation, and direct representation to ensure that children and their parents receive the supports they need to succeed.

Reforming education for youth who are incarcerated

Students in the juvenile justice system deserve an education and a second chance after they are released. Public Counsel’s work at Camp Challenger in Los Angeles County is aimed at creating a statewide model for education reform in the juvenile justice system. 

Winning our students’ educational future

California’s public schools should be engines of equality and opportunity. Public Counsel expanded protections for students in struggling schools through Reed vs. State, and pursuing litigation, legislation and policy change to restore the California dream for all California youth.


Latest News

Public Counsel Launches Second Version of Successful “Fix School Discipline” Toolkit and Resource Website


Broad coalition calls on school board to invest in violence prevention and intervention, not more police on campuses


Reducing the role of police on school campus


Transforming school climate through our Fix School Discipline campaign


Litigating to ensure the education of youth in Contra Costa Juvenile Hall