CCSA v. OUSD (Proposition 39)

Summary

On March 8, 2016, CCSA filed a lawsuit against the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) based on its failure to comply with Proposition 39 (Prop.39). The lawsuit centers on OUSD's continued unlawful failures to share public school space with all public school students in OUSD.

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Case Overview

On March 8, 2016, CCSA filed a lawsuit against the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) based on its failure to comply with Proposition 39 (Prop.39). The lawsuit centers on OUSD's continued failures to share public school space with all public school students in OUSD. Despite clear and unequivocal obligations under the law, OUSD continues to prioritize district students and administrators over charter school students in violation of its legal obligations. About twenty-six percent (26%) of public school students within OUSD attend charter schools, one of the largest charter school student populations in California.

Over the past several years, CCSA has monitored the OUSD 's Prop.39 compliance and engaged directly with its counsel to urge them to comply with law and prioritize Prop.39 compliance. OUSD demonstrated its continued lack of concern for charter school facilities with its 2016-17 preliminary offers.

OUSD issued its preliminary offers of space for the 2016-17 school year on February 1, 2016. Each of these offers failed to meet Prop.39 requirements in many ways including:

  • Failing to Provide Reasonably Equivalent Facilities: By prioritizing district students and administrators over charter school students and failing to provide any analysis of comparison group schools, OUSD has not met its legal obligation to treat charter and district-run schools fairly with respect to the allocation of space between them.
  • Making Unlawful Multi-site Offers: OUSD made a number of multi-campus split-site offers without any legal support. More than half of those offers were split over two more than one campus, several over three 3 with one offer split over seven campuses.
  • Employing Unlawful Tactics: OUSD has a long history of pressuring charter schools into dropping out of Prop. 39 and using confusing language in the preliminary offers that seems designed to push schools out of the process and to make them inadvertently waive their Prop. 39 rights.
  • Lacking Transparency: The offers have none of the transparency elements required by Prop. 39 law that was emphasized in the recent Supreme Court decision in CCSA v. LAUSD [link to that decision on our site]. OUSD also provided no evidence that it made the required reasonable efforts to provide charter schools with facilities near where the charter schools wished to locate.

CCSA's lawsuit seeks, among other things, for a Court order commanding OUSD to provide "reasonably equivalent" final facilities offers to CCSA's member charter schools operating in OUSD for the 2016-2017 school year, and to hereafter comply fully with Prop. 39 and the Implementing Regulations in all other respects.

Since CCSA filed the lawsuit, the regulatory deadline for OUSD to issue final offers passed. CCSA amended its complaint on April 25 to address OUSD's deficient final offers and its actions to dissuade charter schools from seeking facilities under Proposition 39, among other things.

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