Williams Act audit evaluates teaching resources at Mira Loma High School

More stories from Kayli Huang


Right after the long Labor Day weekend, Mira Loma High School students were told to bring all of their textbooks to school for the “Williams Act Audit.”  Mina Hedglin, a senior at Mira Loma High School, brought her more than six textbooks on Sept. 6 and offered her understanding of the reason why.

“I understand that there was a regulation passed in California that required schools to allow officials to check whether textbooks were given to every student,” she said.

In California, state Code section 220, known popularly as the Williams Act, aims to ensure that all Californians have an equal opportunity to receive an education by prohibiting discrimination in public schools.

“No person shall be subjected to discrimination on the basis of disability, gender, nationality, race or ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation … in any program or activity conducted by an educational institution that receives, or benefits from, state financial assistance or enrolls pupils who receive state student financial aid,” Section code 220 states.

In 2004, the Eliezer Williams, et al., vs. State of California, et al. case, or the Williams case, was filed (California Department of Education). A group of 100 students from San Francisco County argued that the public schools have “failed to provide public school students with equal access to instructional materials, safe and decent school facilities, and qualified teachers.”

As a result of this case, Section 60119 was added to the California Education Code to mandate that all students have the necessary books and other resources to succeed in their education.

The statute states, “The governing board of a school district…shall make a determination, through a resolution, as to whether each pupil in each school in the school district has sufficient textbooks or instructional materials, or both, that are aligned to the content standards adopted by the state board….”

Many of the students at Mira Loma were told about the audit ahead of time. However, it was difficult for some students, as they hauled around their textbooks for seven hours.

For Hedglin, there are better ways to enforce the Williams Act than having students bring their textbooks to school on a day when the temperature climbed over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. According to Hedglin, a possible alternative would be checking with the online database to see if students had the correct textbooks checked out to them.

“I believe that every class should’ve been checked. I only know of one person who had one class in which (an auditor) actually came in,” Hedglin said. “If this takes too much time, then they should have the books be checked during fourth or whatever period through the school. Plus, textbooks can be checked if they have been assigned to students through their online accounts.”