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AdvocacyPublic, legislative and legal advocacy


CSBA’s Education Legal Alliance filed a writ of mandate and complaint for declaratory relief against the California State Board of Education (“SBE”) on January 10, 2023,  seeking to enforce the limited role of the State Board of Education in charter appeals established by AB 1505. CSBA’s writ representing local charter authorizers statewide’ like the writ of mandate filed by the Napa Valley Unified School District, requests the court to overturn the SBE’s decision to reverse the decisions by the district and by the Napa County Board of Education to deny the petition submitted by the Mayacamas Charter School petition. The litigation involves holding the SBE accountable to the terms of Assembly Bill 1505, a charter school reform bill signed into law in October 2019. CSBA was actively involved in the legislative process leading to the enactment of AB 1505, which resulted in the establishment of a new framework for transparency and delegation of authority related to charter schools, including the charter authorization and appeal process, and limited the authority of the SBE to reconsider charter petition appeals. As a result of this decision by the SBE, local governing boards that are charged with the authority to approve or deny charter school petitions, and oversee those that are approved, will find it difficult to follow the reforms in AB 1505 unless the SBE’s action that misinterpreted and misapplied those reforms is reversed by the court.

  • See the writ of mandate and complaint here.
ERAF (CSBA v. Betty Yee)

The ERAF was created by the Legislature in 1992 to relieve pressure on the State’s General Fund while meeting the constitutional minimum funding guarantee for K-14 education. The ERAF statute redirects a portion of property taxes statewide from cities, counties and special districts to local school districts and community college districts, reducing the demands on the State’s General Fund. School districts and COEs throughout the State have lost out on Proposition 98 funding as a result of miscalculation of “excess ERAF” in five counties, resulting in nearly $1 billion in lost Proposition 98 funding and potential future losses.

On June 8, 2022, CSBA’s writ of mandate and complaint for declaratory and injunctive relief was denied. The court’s decision rested on its assessment of the plain language of provisions of the Revenue and Taxation Code that govern the ERAF. Specifically, the court found that the Revenue and Taxation Code does not contain any reference to charter schools, or to utilizing charter school ADA, in directing how ERAF funds are calculated. In addition, contrary to CSBA’s argument that the applicable definitions governing the matter are found in the Education Code’s provisions regarding charter school funding, the court found that the definition of “school district” in the Constitution is the basis for the definition of “school district” in the Revenue and Taxation Code, and that definition does not include charter schools. In addition, other definitions in the Revenue and Taxation Code omit charter schools from the entities referenced in the relevant provisions. The court found that the Legislature’s direction to the Controller to issue guidance regarding ERAF calculations was broad, and the court could not declare the Controller’s guidance improper as it was consistent with the plain language of the applicable statutes. On Aug. 18, 2022, CSBA filed a Notice of Appeal to the Third District Court of Appeal, and filed the opening brief on January 18, 2023.

  • See the opening brief here.
  • See the writ of mandate and complaint here