Justia Education Law Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Supreme Court of California
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The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the court of appeals reversing the judgment of the trial court affirming the findings of the Commission on State Mandates rejecting the claims brought by Plaintiffs, several community college districts seeking reimbursement for regulations they must satisfy to avoid the possibility of having their state aid withheld, holding that the court of appeals erred.Plaintiffs filed a claim arguing that reimbursement was required under Cal. Const. art. XIII B because (1) the regulations imposed a legal duty to satisfy the conditions described (legal compulsion), or (2) the regulations compelled compliance as a practical matter (practical compulsion). The Commission rejected the claims, and the trial court affirmed. The court of appeals reversed. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that because the court of appeal chose not to address whether the districts established practical compulsion, remand was required to allow the court to evaluate that issue. View "Coast Community College District v. Commission on State Mandates" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court held that liability under the Unruh Civil Rights Act, Cal. Civ. Code 51, was not available in this case, where Plaintiff alleged that he was sexually assaulted by fellow students and a school district staff member at his high school.Plaintiff, through his guardian, sued the West Contra Costa Unified School District asserting various claims arising out of his high school experiences, including allegations that the District had violated the Act. The District demurred to the Act cause of action on the ground that the District was not a "business establishment" within the meaning of the Act. The trial court sustained the demurrer. Thereafter, Plaintiff filed an original petition for writ of mandate, which the court of appeal denied. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the Act, as currently written, cannot reasonably be interpreted to encompass public school districts in situations such as the one this case presented. View "Brennon B. v. Superior Court" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court held that the juvenile court may exercise jurisdiction in a formal wardship proceeding on the basis of the minor having four or more truancies within one school year under Cal. Welf & Inst. Code 601(b) if a fourth truancy report has been issued to the appropriate school official, even if the minor has not been previously referred to a school attendance review board (SARB) or a similar truancy mediation program.The district court filed a wardship petition against A.N., a high school student, in the juvenile court, alleging that A.N. was a habitual truant and that she was within the jurisdiction of the juvenile court. After a hearing, the juvenile court sustained the wardship petition. A.N. appealed, arguing that the juvenile court lacked jurisdiction because, at the time the petition was filed, she had not yet appeared before a SARB and because she and her parents had not received a fourth truancy report. The court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that because A.N.’s school had sent at least four truancy reports to the superintendent of the school district before the wardship petition was filed, the juvenile court possessed jurisdiction over A.N. View "In re A.N." on Justia Law

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In deciding whether the Legislature's enactment of two statutes requiring a portion of state funding provided annually to local education agencies to be used prospectively as "offsetting revenues" under Cal. Gov't Code 17557(d)(2)(B) was constitutional the Supreme Court held that the method chosen by the Legislature to pay for two existing state reimbursement mandates did not on its face violate the state Constitution.In 2010, during a period of economic recession, the Legislature enacted the two statutes at issue in this case to satisfy the two mandates. The statutes designated previously non-mandate education funding as restricted funding at the beginning of the next fiscal year to satisfy the state's obligation to reimburse school districts for the two mandates. Petitioner filed a petition for writ of mandate and complaint for injunctive and declaratory relief alleging that the two statutes violate the Constitution. The superior court denied the petition, and the court of appeal affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that mandate reimbursement as provided by the statutes does not violate the Constitution. View "California School Boards Ass'n v. State" on Justia Law

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Universities have a special relationship with their students and a duty to protect them from foreseeable violence during curricular activities.Damon Thompson, a student at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), stabbed fellow student Katherine Rosen during a chemistry lab. Thompson was experiencing auditory hallucinations, and school administrators had attempted to provide him with mental health treatment. Rosen sued UCLA and several of its employees (collectively, UCLA), alleging negligence for UCLA’s failure to protect her from Thompson’s foreseeable violent conduct. UCLA moved for summary judgment, arguing that colleges have no duty to protect their adult students from criminal acts. The trial court denied the motion. The Court of Appeal granted UCLA’s petition for writ of mandate, ruling that UCLA owed no duty to protect Rosen. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that universities owe a duty to protect students from foreseeable violence during curricular activities. View "Regents of University of California v. Superior Court of Los Angeles County" on Justia Law

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Universities have a special relationship with their students and a duty to protect them from foreseeable violence during curricular activities.Damon Thompson, a student at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), stabbed fellow student Katherine Rosen during a chemistry lab. Thompson was experiencing auditory hallucinations, and school administrators had attempted to provide him with mental health treatment. Rosen sued UCLA and several of its employees (collectively, UCLA), alleging negligence for UCLA’s failure to protect her from Thompson’s foreseeable violent conduct. UCLA moved for summary judgment, arguing that colleges have no duty to protect their adult students from criminal acts. The trial court denied the motion. The Court of Appeal granted UCLA’s petition for writ of mandate, ruling that UCLA owed no duty to protect Rosen. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that universities owe a duty to protect students from foreseeable violence during curricular activities. View "Regents of University of California v. Superior Court of Los Angeles County" on Justia Law