CSBA v. State of California, Superior Court of the State of California, County of Alameda
Summary of Case:
Previously, the ELA had successfully sued (receiving over $290,000.00 in attorneys’ fees as a result) in which the court set aside legislative attempts to dictate to the Commission on State Mandates how to determine mandates in ways that were unfavorable to districts. However, the Legislature has since come up with a new series of statutory changes designed to eliminate payment on most education mandates through a “redetermination” process (going back and retroactively determining that something wasn’t a mandate) and through the use of “offsets” (use funding sources such as revenue limits that the district was already guaranteed to received).
Thus, the ELA challenged these new provisions in 2011, particularly their application to the Behavioral Intervention Plan (“BIP”) mandate and the High School Science Graduation Requirements mandate. CSBA has also alleged that if the new provisions are legal, the entire mandate system violates the constitutional reimbursement requirement as it frustrates the districts’ right to reimbursement. The ELA is joined by two districts (San Diego USD and Castro Valley USD) and two COEs (Butte and San Joaquin).
The ELA has since amended its lawsuit three times to adjust to how the relevant legislation has changed since 2011. The most recent amendment was filed on February 3, 2014. The State has since answered and the ELA has made discovery requests of the defendants. After some back and forth, the State has provided sufficient responses to the ELA’s discovery requests.
The parties are currently briefing the second cause of action – i.e., the allegation that the use of existing revenue as reimbursement (referred to offsetting revenues) rather than new or addition revenue is unconstitutional. The ELA filed its opening brief on March 3, 2015. The state will file its opposition brief on April 3, 2015. The ELA will file its reply brief on April 20, 2015. A hearing is scheduled for April 27, 2015.