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CSBA v. State Board of Education - California Court of Appeal, 1st District
Summary of Case:

The ELA challenged the State Board of Education’s (“SBE”) 2007 approval of Aspire Public Schools’ (“Aspire”) statewide benefit charter petition because it believed that SBE had used an incorrect interpretation of the relevant law in approving Aspire’s statewide benefit charter. The matter also included several procedural claims. The ELA was joined in this lawsuit by ACSA, CTA, and Stockton USD.

The trial court agreed with SBE and essentially dismissed the case, but the Court of Appeal in July 2010 reversed and ruled in favor of the ELA. This allowed the case to go forward, but did not actually invalidate the approval, leaving the decision to the trial court.

On March 15, 2012, the trial court ruled in favor of the ELA and on June 22, 2012, directing SBE to set aside its approval of Aspire’s statewide benefit charter and to use only policies and procedures that have been promulgated in compliance with the Administrative Procedures Act in its consideration of statewide benefit charters. The Court gave the SBE one year to comply with its orders.

On March 14, 2013, Aspire agreed to surrender its statewide benefit charter status and to be ineligible to seek statewide benefit charter status for five years. SBE and Aspire agreed to pay $300,000 ($150,000 each) in attorney’s fees and costs.

Although Aspire is completely dismissed, SBE is continuing to challenge the trial court’s order to use only policies and procedures that have been promulgated in compliance with the Administrative Procedures Act in its consideration of statewide benefit charters. The parties completed their briefing in October 2014.

In February 2015, the Court requested additional briefing and the remaining cause of action. The State has filed their opening supplemental brief on February 20, 2015, and the ELA filed its opposition on March 9, 2015. The State’s reply is due at the end of April. Oral argument will be scheduled sometime thereafter.