Promise Public Schools v. San Jose USD

Summary

This case involves a challenge to a school district's failure to make a facilities offer to a new charter school under Proposition 39 (Prop.39). The trial court found that a school district has no right to conduct an independent verification of Prop. 39 signatures to confirm directly from the parent his or her meaningful interest in attending the charter school.

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This case involves a challenge to a school district's failure to make a facilities offer to a new charter school under Proposition 39 (Prop.39). The trial court found that a school district has no right to conduct an independent verification of Prop. 39 signatures to confirm directly from the parent his or her meaningful interest in attending the charter school.

In October 2017, Promise Academy submitted a timely request for facilities to San Jose Unified School District (SJUSD) under Prop. 39, and also submitted its charter to SJUSD for approval. SJUSD denied Promise Academy's new school petition, but ultimately the State Board of Education (SBE) approved the charter to open in 2018. During Promise's authorization and appeal process, SJUSD conducted surveys and reduced Promise's Prop. 39 projection of 193.64 average daily attendance (ADA) to 73 ADA based upon telephone surveys confirming a parent's intent to enroll, and adjusting that reduced number by a 94% attendance rate. The surveys included calls to resident parents whose kids were eligible to attend and discounted the student meaningful interest if the parent said he or she did not intend to enroll in the charter or if the parent did not answer. Since schools must have a minimum of 80 projected ADA to be eligible for Prop. 39 facilities, the district determined based on these surveys that it was not required to give Promise a facilities offer.

Promise filed a petition for writ of mandate and complaint for declaratory and injunctive relief, challenging the district's failure to provide a facilities offer under Prop. 39 and asking the court to require SJUSD to comply with the law. The trial court agreed with Promise, finding the District's actions unlawful and requiring the District to make a preliminary offer of space to the school by June 25, 2018.

CCSA is actively engaged on this case to ensure that the public school students served by Promise Academy will have access to district facility, and to ensure that other school districts do not take extreme action as SJUSD did in this case. Promise was represented by Young Minney & Corr.

Timeline

  • June 14, 2018: Court finds in favor of Promise Public Schools and issues Trial Court Decision.
  • March 26, 2018: CSBA and San Jose USD file Verified Petition for Writ of Mandate and Complaint for Injunctive and Declaratory Relief.

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