Court dismisses CSBA’s Prop. 98 lawsuit on procedural grounds

by Keith J. Bray, CSBA General Counsel and Director, CSBA Education Legal Alliance

Throughout this week, the media have carried news about the First District Court of Appeal’s decision in the Proposition 98 lawsuit led by CSBA’s Education Legal Alliance (ELA) in concert with the Association of California School Administrators, Los Angeles USD, San Francisco USD and Turlock USD.  This suit, filed in October 2011, challenged the governor’s effort to redirect sales tax revenues out of the Proposition 98 funding guarantee for education.

The court determined that our lawsuit was made moot by the passage of Proposition 30.  It is important to note that the court did not rule on the merits of the case.

While Prop. 30’s nearly 11-point margin of victory demonstrated the electorate’s interest in a strong, properly funded education system, the court found our lawsuit moot because “The Constitution has been amended [by Prop 30] to explicitly authorize the exclusion of the challenged tax revenue from the Proposition 98 formula.”  However, the court concluded its opinion noting that “the calculation of school funding under Proposition 98 is of significant public importance and future challenges may be likely.”

As the director of ELA, I want you to know that ELA and CSBA will not abandon our fight for fair funding.  Our concerns about the Legislature’s continued manipulation of Prop. 98, and the broader long-term implication for school funding, continue.  ELA is committed to representing the interests of public education, and will continue to pursue legal means to ensure our schools are adequately funded.

See the court’s decision here.

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