Category Archives: legal

California Supreme Court finds some district employees eligible for unemployment benefits during summer term

17 Feb
On Jan. 16, 2020, the California Supreme Court reversed a court of appeal decision and held that section 1253.3 of the Unemployment Insurance Code (section 1253.3) does not bar public school employees from collecting unemployment benefits if the summer session constitutes an “academic term.” The Court’s decision in United Educators of San Francisco v. San Francisco Unified School District means that some school districts employees may be eligible for unemployment benefits during the summer, but it’s not yet clear how...

March 15 layoff notices: What boards should know

10 Feb
public school building
As a member of a school board governance team, few situations are more sensitive than a district delivering March 15 layoff notices. It is essential for governing board members to be familiar with information about the March 15 notice, its implementation process and the strict legal requirements attached to the process. The March 15 notice is a formal, written announcement from a school district to certificated employees — required by Education Code section 44949 — informing them that they may...

E-cigarette maker Juul allegedly still marketing to teens

27 Aug
Two new lawsuits out of Illinois are targeting the San Francisco e-cigarette manufacturer Juul Labs Inc. for allegedly using deceptive marketing campaigns to target teens. News of the complaints broke just under a year after reports that the company had offered districts in California stipends of as much as $20,000 to adopt a vaping curriculum to be taught by Juul consultants. In a study published last year in the Journal of Adolescent Health, researchers claimed the curriculum failed to emphasize...

CSBA’s Education Legal Alliance restores California public school funds to state budget

3 Jul
California’s public schools will receive hundreds of millions of dollars in additional funding and avoid billions in potential losses thanks to a settlement agreement between the State of California and CSBA. The agreement ensures public schools will receive repayment of $686 million (approximately $110 per student) due to prior year underpayments. It also contains provisions that could protect up to 1 percent of the Proposition 98 guarantee ($756 million in 2017–18 and potentially more in subsequent years) as part of...

The limited impact but substantial importance of Cal Fire v. CalPERS

31 May
On March 4, 2019, the California Supreme Court unanimously affirmed the appellate court’s decision in Cal Fire 2881 v. California Public Employees’ Retirement System, upholding the 2012 elimination of a pension benefit for public employees. The narrow decision in favor of the State will not have much effect on school boards and county offices of education, but the Court’s decision is still significant. The law at issue In 2012, the Legislature enacted the California Public Employees’ Pension Reform Act of...

New guide takes a deep look at protecting student data privacy

11 Apr
Increased data use has the potential to enhance and expand educational opportunities, but it can also put sensitive student information at risk. To address the concern, the Future of Privacy Forum recently published “The Policymaker’s Guide to Student Data Privacy.” With data proliferating in school settings — from enrollment numbers to test scores to health and disciplinary records — the FPF finds that effective policies enacted at the local, state and federal levels can mitigate dangerous and costly data collection...

AG advisory creates new considerations for charter school governance and operations

9 Jan
By Kathryn Meola, CSBA General Counsel  California Attorney General Xavier Becerra has issued an advisory opinion (No. 11-201, dated December 26, 2018) concluding that charter schools and their governing bodies are subject to the Ralph M. Brown Act and the California Public Records Act. The Attorney General also concluded that the governing bodies of charter schools are subject to both Government Code section 1090, which prohibits conflicts of interest in public contracts, and the Political Reform Act of 1974. Finally,...

Federal commission releases school safety report; sparks debate about student discipline

19 Dec
Recommendation to roll back Obama-era guidance largely moot in light of California state law A wide-ranging report has intensified the debate over appropriate methods of discipline in a time of increasing concern about student safety. On Tuesday, Dec. 18, the Federal Commission on School Safety released what the U.S. Department of Education called “best practices and policy recommendations for improving safety at schools across the country.” The Commission was established in response to the February 2018 mass shooting at Florida’s...

New faces and new bills as 2019-20 legislative session begins

5 Dec
At Monday’s kickoff to the 2019-20 legislative session, both the Senate and Assembly held their respective organizational sessions to seat newly-elected members. Eight seats in the Assembly change hands for 2019-20, as do nine seats in the Senate. On Monday, the desk was also opened for 2019-20 bill introductions, with 198 bills submitted thus far. Following the organizational sessions, the Legislature stands in recess until January. Click here to download an Excel table from the California Department of Education on...

New Laws for California Schools: Assembly Bill 2449

12 Nov
governance meeting
This new, weekly feature from CSBA will highlight a new education law signed by the Governor in 2018. All laws are effective Jan. 1, 2019, unless otherwise noted. The full What’s New for 2019 report on all new laws affecting K-12 education is available at AB 2449, Governing board elections; beginning date of board member terms Assembly Bill 2449 (Arambula, D-Fresno) changes the seating date for newly elected school district and county board of education members to the second Friday in December...