OAKLAND, Calif. (KCBS) The state of California has been named as a defendant in a lawsuit filed on behalf of parents and students which claims that education funding violates the state constitution.

The complaint was filed Monday in Alameda County Superior Court by a coalition of students, parents and nonprofit advocacy groups representing low-income families.

READ MORE: San Francisco Safeway Adds Barriers To Deter Rampant Shoplifting

Plaintiffs claim California is racing to the bottom among the lowest education-achieving states.

Click to listen

“We view litigation as a measure of last resort,” said Jeremy Lahoud with the Campaign for Quality Education. “But we can’t wait any longer. We’re losing a whole generation of students.”

READ MORE: SF Supervisor Preston Proposes 10-Day Warning Period For Renters Facing Eviction

Lahoud’s group is part of a coalition suing the state on constitutional grounds.

“What we do ask the court to do is declare the present system unconstitutional,” said attorney Marty Glick.

He said it is also unfair, especially for low income students.

Attorney Rohit Singla said funding for classrooms is also at record lows.

“It is really beyond doubt that the state is not meeting its constitutional obligation,” said Singla. “There is nobody today who believes the state is living up to standards set out for it in the constitution.”

MORE NEWS: Redwood City Retail Theft Suspect Arrested; Stolen Home Depot Merchandise Recovered

The lawsuit seeks billions of dollars in additional education spending. Governor Schwarzenegger’s Office said they will defend the suit vigorously.