CCSA's Charter Schools Legal Defense Fund (LDF) Updates

June 25, 2013

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Rights for Teachers Engaged in Charter Conversion Upheld

We are pleased to share that the Fillmore Unified School District (Fillmore) refused to challenge the ruling which found in favor of the teachers the district retaliated against for their efforts to convert a failing district school to a charter - giving finality to the decision. A Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) hearing officer issued the proposed decision in Pavik et al. v. Fillmore Unified School District, on May 28, 2013, which stems from 2011 when the district transferred the teachers after the proposed charter petition was denied.

Pursuant to the decision, the hearing officer ordered Fillmore to:

  1. cease and desist from retaliating against the teachers because they pursued a charter petition;
  2. offer the teachers the positions they held at the school they sought to convert prior to their transfers;
  3. reimburse mileage and grant leave in connection to the new school assignment for one of the transferred teachers; and
  4. post a notice in every location where teachers receive notices about the school district's retaliatory conduct and the relief ordered by the hearing officer.

While this case is limited to Fillmore and these teachers, it stands for the proposition that teacher participation in the development of a conversion charter school petition is protected activity under the Education Employees Relations Act, the state law that governs all collective bargaining activity in district and charter schools. The practical impact of the case means that school district teachers can engage in charter school development and petition activities without fear of retaliation from the school district.

CCSA's LDF financially supported the case of the three teachers throughout the hearing process, as we determined that this case was an important vehicle to strengthen the employment rights of public school teachers fighting to convert and develop charter schools in California. See an overview of this case for more information.

California Supreme Court will Hear CCSA's Prop. 39 Case

CCSA recently filed its opening brief in the CCSA v. LAUSD case pending at the California Supreme Court. CCSA challenges the opinion of the Court of Appeal that Los Angeles Unified School District could use its "norming ratios", or class size ratios, in determining the number of classrooms to offer to charter schools instead of using the facilities inventory required by the Implementing Regulations.

The case stems from a motion CCSA filed in the trial court on May 17, 2012, which focused on the unlawful manner in which LAUSD determined the number of classrooms offered to charter schools under Prop. 39. We believe that if LAUSD were compelled to make the correct calculations pursuant to the Prop. 39 regulations, the number of classrooms offered to charter schools would increase significantly for some schools. Read the case background.

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