California Supreme Court Denies District's Bid to Overturn Prop. 39 Decision

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January 19, 2012 The California Supreme Court denied Los Altos School District's requests that the Court accept review and depublish the appellate decision which sided with Bullis Charter School, finding that the District had violated Proposition 39, a law that requires school districts to provide "reasonably equivalent facilities" to charter schools.

After the Sixth Appellate District of the California Court of Appeal handed Bullis Charter School a victory in October, the Los Altos School District sought review from the CA Supreme Court and also requested the Court to depublish the appellate decision. With the California Supreme Court's recent action, the appellate decision is now final and remains published, allowing it to have far-reaching effect statewide. The decision reaffirms the promise of Prop. 39--districts must equalize treatment of charter and district students when providing "reasonably equivalent" facilities to charter schools. In this case, the appellate court rejected the district's contention that it had unfettered discretion to selectively exclude portions of district campuses when comparing those to the site offered to Bullis as required by Proposition 39.

For Bullis, the court's action should bring closure to its prolonged effort to secure appropriate space for its growing charter school. The charter school filed suit against the school district in the Santa Clara County Superior Court in June 2009, requesting that the court evaluate the district's Prop. 39 offer and find that it was not reasonably equivalent to the facilities enjoyed by students in District-run school. In November of that year, the lower court sided with the district, and shortly after, Bullis filed an appeal.

Currently, Bullis Charter School, which opened its doors in 2004, is housed in portables on blacktop and shares limited space with a junior high for outdoor activities. District students enjoy new, permanent facilities and spacious outdoor areas.

To read the Court of Appeal decision issued in October, which includes specific information on exclusion of space available at district comparison group schools in a facilities offer, click here. Also, read the Press Release issued by Bullis Charter School and CCSA.