January 2013 Update: CCSA v. LAUSD (Prop. 39 Litigation)

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January 9, 2013 On Friday, January 4, the California Court of Appeal decided to publish the brief decision in CCSA's Prop. 39 litigation against the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) that it originally issued on December 7, 2012. In the opinion, the court upheld LAUSD's use of "norming ratios" when assigning classrooms to charter schools, finding that the practice is "consistent with the intent of Proposition 39." CCSA is currently assessing potential next steps. We will update you accordingly.

As you may recall, CCSA prevailed in the Superior Court on June 27 in its challenge of LAUSD's use of the "norming ratios" to allocate classroom space, rather than adhering to the Prop. 39 regulations - which govern the allocation of classroom space.

How will this decision affect my charter school?

We understand that LAUSD, and other school districts that also use "norming ratios," may have been using those ratios to allocate classroom space under Prop. 39 for years. The Court of Appeal's decision simply allows this practice to continue, most particularly in LAUSD, since the case was decided based on facts which are unique to Los Angeles. Therefore, we believe that the practical impact on charter schools requesting and utilizing LAUSD facilities under Prop. 39 will be quite minimal, because future offers of facilities under Prop. 39 will likely be based on this continued practice.

If your school is not in LAUSD and the school district was already using "norming ratios" to calculate classroom space under Prop. 39, there will likely be no changes.

If your school is not in LAUSD and the school district was not using "norming ratios" to calculate classroom space under Prop. 39, the district may begin using the method authorized by the court at their discretion.

Does this mean that CCSA's case against LAUSD is over?

No. This Court of Appeal decision only invalidates one court order of the three court orders which CCSA has obtained against LAUSD over the past two years. The other two court orders - requiring LAUSD to make offers of Prop. 39 facilities to all eligible charter schools and to provide more detailed descriptions in its offers regarding non-classroom space allocations - remain in full effect and unchanged. The litigation is still active, and CCSA can still raise objections to instances of Prop. 39 non-compliance during the current 2013-2014 Prop. 39 cycle.

What does publication of the decision mean?

When the decision becomes published it means that the trial courts around the state must follow it if they are presented with the same factual scenario. Learn more about the specifics facts of the LAUSD case.

Please contact Phillipa Altmann at (213) 244-1446 x245 if you have any questions.