At a district meeting in 2012, a district trustee, who is not named in court papers, “admitted that the plan to create separate programs for Sausalito and Marin City was motivated by a desire to create separate programs for separate communities,” according to the complaint. “This trustee also expressed it would improve community relations if students in Marin City were not ‘shipped over’ to Sausalito.”
Willow Creek, with about 400 students, prided itself on its diversity. In the 2018-19 school year, it was 41 percent white, 11 percent African-American, 25 percent Latino and 10 percent Asian, according to its website. In contrast, Bayside-Martin Luther King Jr. Academy, with about 119 students, was 7 percent white, 3 percent Asian, 49 percent African-American and 30 percent Latino, according to state statistics.
In court papers, the attorney general said that the district had systematically starved the school it ran of resources.
It reneged on a promise to create a gifted program and cut music, art, physical education and counseling services, according to court papers. By 2015, the Bayside-M.L.K. principal, assistant principal and about half of the teaching staff had left, the court papers say.
The district-run school did not have a qualified math teacher, while the charter school did. The district school had only a part-time counselor, while the charter school had a full-time one.
And the district was harsher in disciplining black and Hispanic students compared with white students than any other public school district in the state, the attorney general said.
Kurt Weinsheimer, the president of the charter school board, said on Friday that the charter school had become a scapegoat for the segregation in the district. The district schools had been segregated for years, he said, and were losing students; the charter school brought them back. A slight majority of its students come from the less affluent part of the district, he said.