William Koski, director of the Youth and Education Law Project (YELP) will be speaking at the annual Educate Our State! Luncheon in San Francisco on Tuesday, October 28, 2014. The event and more information about the program is available here.
Since 2001, Professor Koski and YELP students have represented hundreds of California youth and their families in anti-discrimination, student discipline, and disability rights matters. Over the years, YELP has trained new generations of attorneys and advocates committed to juvenile defense in the highly specialized area of special education advocacy, and recently collaborated with Educate Our State! on comprehensive school discipline reform before the California legislature.
Clinic students have had the opportunity to litigate several complex school reform cases under the supervision of Professor Koski and YELP’s supervising attorney, Carly Munson. Currently, YELP is co-counsel for some 60 children in the landmark Robles-Wong v. California, a lawsuit pending before the California Court of Appeal, that aims to reform the public school finance system in the state; Emma C. v. Eastin – a civil rights case now entering its 18th year before U.S. District Court Judge Thelton Henderson – that has restructured the special education service delivery system in an East Palo Alto school district; and Smith v. Berkeley Unified School District, an anti-discrimination case that successfully reformed school discipline policies in Berkeley.
Professor Koski also presented expert testimony during the Williams v. California proceedings – a class-action lawsuit against the State of California, alleging that the state had denied its children many of the “basic educational necessities,” including access to textbooks, safe and clean facilities, and qualified teachers. ◊