LONG BEACH (CBSLA.com) — Crystal Anthony is a high school senior with big dreams.

She intends to become a doctor.

“I like to help people,” she said.

And, she says, making that dream come true has not been easy.

“I have struggled during tests; more tutoring would be helpful,” Crystal suggested.

Crystal says the only tutoring she received was from her classroom teachers.

“It’s not really professionals like tutors that get paid to help us,” she said.

And that’s not fair, says public advocates attorney Angelica Jongco, because she says the Long Beach Unified School District gets extra money to pay for Crystal’s education.

“Is Crystal’s story a unique one?” Jongco said? “There are many Crystals throughout the state and here in Long Beach, students who deserve all the support they need to  succeed.”

Jongco says school districts get more state dollars to educate low-income students, foster kids and English learners, and yet, she says, the district has  spent some of that extra money on resources for all students, like $17 million dollars worth of textbooks.

“It’s essentially all the textbooks they purchased last year for all students,” Jongco said.

Jongco’s nonprofit law firm is appealing to the California Department of Education.

Long Beach Unified responded with a written statement that said in part: “We’re in compliance and producing steady, significant growth in student achievement.”

As for Crystal, she says she intends to go to medical school with or without tutors; she’ll just work a little harder to get there.


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