- Who We Are
- Our Team
- What We Do
Amended California Special Education Regulations In Effect
Nearly 14 years after President Bush signed the IDEA Improvement Act of 2004, special education regulations found in the California Code of Regulations, title 5, sections 3001-3088, have been updated and became effective July 1, 2014. The revisions align what the California Department of Education ("CDE") has referred to as "old, out-of-date regulations" with existing state statutes and federal statutes and regulations. The new regulations were finalized after a period of public comment and the holding of a public hearing on July 8, 2013 at the CDE.
Chartering Authority Must Make Findings Supported by Substantial Evidence Showing it Considered Increases in Academic Achievement for All Groups of Pupils Served by the Charter School as the Most Important Factor in Deciding Whether to Revoke a Charter
In American Indian Model Schools v. Oakland Unified School District (June 23, 2014, 139652) --- Cal.App.4th ---, the California Court of Appeal recently clarified a charter school may not be revoked unless there is substantial evidence in the record showing the chartering authority considered increases in academic achievement over time for all numerically significant student subgroups served by the charter school as the most important factor in deciding whether to revoke the charter.
L.A. Superior Court Rules Key Teacher Tenure, Dismissal, and Layoff Statutes Unconstitutional
In a much anticipated and well-publicized tentative ruling, the Los Angeles Superior Court (“trial court”) issued a tentative ruling on June 6, 2014 in Vergara v. State of California, Case. No. BC484642. Plaintiffs in the case were nine California public school students who claimed five education code statutes were unconstitutional. These "challenged statutes" dealing with teacher tenure and dismissal are Education Code sections 44929.21 ("teacher tenure statute"); 44934, 44938(b)(1) and (2) and 44944 ("dismissal statutes"); and 44955, the layoff statute, which the trial court identified as "Last-in-First Out ('LIFO')."
United States Supreme Court Upholds Prayers at Public Meetings
Many legislative bodies throughout the United States, including city councils, state legislatures, and Congress, begin sessions with ceremonial religious prayer that often includes references to sectarian Christian themes, including "Jesus Christ" and the "Holy Spirit." In Town of Greece, N.Y. v. Galloway (2014) --- U.S. ---, the United States Supreme Court held that such prayers do not violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, as long as the legislative body has a policy of nondiscrimination when selecting the prayer givers, the prayers themselves do not show a pattern of disparaging nonbelievers, and the practice does not coerce participation by members of the public.
Communications by Public Officials Using Private Cell Phone or E-Mail Accounts are Not Public Records
The California Public Records Act (“CPRA”) requires the disclosure of “public records” on request, unless such records are exempt from disclosure. In City of San Jose v. Superior Court (March 27, 2014, H039498) --- Cal.App.4th ---, the Court of Appeal held that the CPRA does not extend to the communications of public officials using exclusively private cell phones or e-mail accounts because such communications are not “public records” under the CPRA.