April 11, 2021

Judge certifies class-action lawsuit challenging CA school funding


A lawsuit by three San Diego County charter school networks that said they were wrongfully denied state funding now represents all 308 of California’s charter schools that provide online, home school and other nontraditional learning.

Sacramento Superior Court Judge James Arguelles granted the plaintiffs in Reyes v. State of California class-action status in a recent court order. Attorneys for the charter school plaintiffs say this is the first class-action lawsuit involving charter schools in California’s history.

The 308 charter schools are called non-classroom-based charter schools because at least 20 percent of the learning occurs off campus. The schools often provide a range of virtual, at-home and in-person instruction.

Last fall three charter school networks based in San Diego County — The Classical Academies, The Learning Choice Academy and Springs Charter Schools — along with 13 charter school students sued the state for refusing to give the schools funding for new students they enrolled this school year.

As the pandemic forced many traditional schools to close and go online last year, thousands of families switched or tried to switch their students out of traditional public schools to these non-classroom-based charters, which have years of experience providing distance learning.

Meanwhile many school districts were struggling to adapt to distance learning and faced losing students.

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