Certificated Tenure, Dismissal and Layoffs – Vergara v. California (K-12)

On June 10, 2014, California Superior Court Judge Rolf Treu issued a decision in Vergara v. California (6/10/14, No. BC484642 (Los Angeles Superior Court)), the closely-watched case regarding teacher tenure, dismissal, and layoffs. After thirty-three days of trial, the Court found that the following Education Code sections violate the equal protection clause of the Constitution of California: section 44929.21(b) (“Permanent Employment Statute”); sections 44934, 44938(b)(1) and (2) and 44944 (“Dismissal Statutes”); and section 44955 (“Last-In-First-Out (‘LIFO’) Statute”). The Court, which refers to these statutes together as the “Challenged Statutes,” found that they “impose a real and appreciable impact on students’ fundamental right to equality of education and that they impose a disproportionate burden on poor and minority students.”

Requirements for, and Exceptions to, Competitive Bidding (K-12)

This update is intended to provide a summary of the requirements for competitive bidding, and the circumstances in which districts are entitled to use exceptions to that practice., Basic Rules, The basic rules for competitive bidding are set forth in Public Contract Code §§ 20110-20118.4. The Public Contract Code generally divides public contracts into three types, two of which must be competitively bid in at least some circumstances:, 1) Contracts for lease or purchase of equipment, materials, or supplies, or for services or repairs;, 2) Contracts for a “public project” as defined in Public Contract Code § 22002; and, 3) Contracts for professional services, insurance, and work done by day labor or force account.

Administration of Medication (Controlled Substances) to Students (K-12)

It has come to our attention that the California School Nurses Organization (“CSNO”) has issued a written opinion suggesting that controlled substances (which include commonly prescribed medications to treat Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (“ADHD”)) may only be administered by licensed health care providers and, therefore, school nurses should not train or supervise unlicensed school employees to administer controlled substances to students within the educational setting.

Private E-mail and Other Electronic Communications Held Not Subject to the Public Records Act (K-12)

On March 27, 2014, the Court of Appeal in San Jose released its decision in City of San Jose v. Superior Court (Smith) (2014) 225 Cal.App.4th 75, 169 Cal.Rptr.3d 840. The case involved a public records request by a citizen seeking several categories of private e-mails and text messages sent by the City’s mayor and City Council members. The lower court ruled in favor of the citizen, and the officials asked the Court of Appeal to review that ruling. The Court of Appeal overturned the trial court’s decision, and concluded that communications sent using private cell phones or on private e-mail accounts were not public records that had to be disclosed.

2014 Governing Board Elections and Organizational Meetings and Frequently Asked Questions Addendum to Memo 26-2014

This is an addendum to our September 30, 2014 Legal Update regarding the 2014 Governing Board Elections and Organizational Meetings and Frequently Asked Questions. The election date for 2014 was inadvertently listed as November 5, 2014. The correct date should be November 4, 2014., We regret this error., If you have any questions, please contact one of the attorneys in our offices.

District’s Responsibilities to Provide Reasonable Accommodations to Students with Food Allergies under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973/Americans with Disabilities Act (K-12)

This legal update is provided to school districts as a reminder that a student with a peanut allergy or other food allergy who qualifies as disabled under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 or the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) should receive reasonable accommodations.

Private E-mail and Other Electronic Communications Held Not Subject to the Public Records Act (CCD)

On March 27, 2014, the Court of Appeal in San Jose released its decision in City of San Jose v. Superior Court (Smith) (2014) 225 Cal.App.4th 75, 169 Cal.Rptr.3d 840. The case involved a public records request by a citizen seeking several categories of private e-mails and text messages sent by the City’s mayor and City Council members. The lower court ruled in favor of the citizen, and the officials asked the Court of Appeal to review that ruling. The Court of Appeal overturned the trial court’s decision, and concluded that communications sent using private cell phones or on private e-mail accounts were not public records that had to be disclosed.