Federal Complaint

[Redacted Until Filing]

 

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

Southern District of California

 

 

 

__________________________________________________________

 

[Redacted Until Filing]                                                                    

Civil Case No. ______________

 

Plaintiffs,  

Complaint Under the Civil Rights Act

42 U.S.C. § 1983 for

Declaratory and Injunctive Reief

THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA, EDMUND G. BROWN, JR., in his official

capacity as Governor of California; TOM TORLAKSON, in his official

capacity as State Superintendent of Public Instruction; DEFENDANT

KAMALA HARRIS, in her official capacity as State Attorney General;

DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION; STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION;

COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION; CAPISTRANO UNIFIED SCHOOL

DISTRICT BOARD OF TRUSTEES;  CAPISTRANO UNIFIED SCHOOL

DISTRICT;  CAPISTRANO UNIFIED EDUCATION ASSOCIATION

CAPISTRANO UNIFIED SCHOOL EMPLOYEE ASSOCIATION;

CAPISTRANO UNIFIED  MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION; TEAMSTERS

                                                                                                  

Defendants,

__________________________________________________________

 

A.  Jurisdiction


1.  This Court has subject matter jurisdiction over this case pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331, which gives district courts jurisdiction over all civil actions arising under the Constitution, laws, and treaties of the United States.

 

2. This Court also has subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1343, which gives district courts original jurisdiction over (a) any civil action authorized by law to be brought by any person to redress the deprivation, under color of any State Law, statute, ordinance, regulation, custom or usage, of any right, privilege or immunity secured by the Constitution of the United States or by any Act of Congress providing for equal rights of citizens or of all persons within the jurisdiction of the United States; and (b) any civil action to recover damages or to secure equitable relief under any Act of Congress providing for the protection of the civil rights.

 

3. This is also an action to redress the deprivation of Plaintiff’s constitutional rights under the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

 

4. Venue is proper in this district pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b), since all defendants reside or resided in this district and the events giving rise to the claims occurred in this district.

 

B.      Parties 


1.      Plaintiffs

 

[Redacted Until Filing]


2.      Defendants

 

State

 

Defendant STATE OF CALIFORNIA is the legal and political entity required by the California Constitution to maintain and oversee the system of public education in California. It has plenary responsibility for educating all California public school students, including the responsibility to establish and maintain the system of common schools and to ensure that the fundamental right to education is afforded to all California public school students irrespective of an individual students wealth, race or ethnicity. 

 

Defendant EDMUND G. BROWN, JR. is the Governor of the State of California. In his official capacity, the Governor is the chief executive officer of the State of California. It is his responsibility to ensure that the laws of the State are properly enforced. 

 

Defendant CALIFORNIA STATE LEGISLATURE has a constitutionally mandated duty to enact legislation that passes constitutional muster, thus providing each child in the state with an equal opportunity to achieve a quality education defined as equal opportunity to obtain high quality staff, program expansion and variety, beneficial teacher-pupil ratios and class sizes, modern equipment and materials, and high-quality buildings.

 

Defendant CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION is the department of State government responsible for administering and enforcing laws related to education. 

 

Defendant TOM TORLAKSON is the State Superintendent of Public Instruction for the State of California. In his official capacity, the State Superintendent is obligated to take all necessary steps to ensure that school districts comply with the California Constitution and State laws.  

Defendant STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION and its members are responsible for determining the policies governing California's schools, and for adopting rules and regulations for the supervision and administration of all local school districts. 

Defendant KAMALA HARRIS as Attorney General, is the chief law officer of California and the state's primary legal counsel. The Attorney General represents the People of California. It is the Attorney General's job to: enforce and apply all California laws fairly and impartially, ensure justice, safety, and liberty for all. To encourage economic prosperity, equal opportunity and tolerance, and to safeguard California's human, natural, and financial resources for this and future generations.

 

County 

 

Defendant ORANGE COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION is the department of Orange County California.responsible for administering and enforcing laws related to education.

 

Defendant ORANGE COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION and its members are responsible for: Adopting rules and regulations not inconsistent with the laws of this state, for their own government. Approve the annual budget of the county superintendent of schools before its submission to the county board of supervisors. Approve the annual county school service fund budget of the county superintendent of schools before its submission to the Superintendent of Public Instruction.

 

Defendant AL MIJARES is the County Superintendent of Public Instruction for Orange County California. California Education Code §1240 - 1281 defines the responsibilities of the County Superintendent which include, but are not limited to: superintend the schools in the County, maintain responsibility for fiscal oversight of each school district, visit and exam schools at reasonable intervals to ensure that the conditions of facilities do not pose an emergency or urgent threat to the health or safety of pupils or staff.

 

District 

 

Defendant CAPISTRANO UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT is a school district organized by the State Legislature and charged with the administration of public schools within its jurisdiction. CUSD possesses those powers set forth in articles IX and XVI of the California Constitution and as otherwise set forth by the laws of the State of California.

 

Defendants CAPISTRANO UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT BOARD OF TRUSTEES as elected officials, trustees are state officers responsible for the governance of the Capistrano Unified School District, a political subdivision of the state. In addition to establishing school district policies, the board adopts an annual budget and approves all expenditures, employment decisions, curricula, textbooks, and courses of study, and makes decisions on school sites, building plans and construction contracts.

 

Defendant KRISTEN VITAL Superintendent CUSD 2014 - present

 

Defendant JOSEPH FARLEY Superintendent CUSD 2010 - 2014

 

Defendant CARTER WOODROW Superintendent CUSD 2007-2009

 

Defendant DENNIS SMITH Superintendent CUSD 2007-2007

 

Defendant JAMES A FLEMING Superintendent CUSD 1991 - 2006

 

Capistrano Unified School District Board Policy 2120(a) defines the responsibilities of the Superintendent of the Capistrano Unified School District which include, but are not limited to: CEO and educational leader of the District. He/she executes all Governing Board decisions and is accountable to the Board for managing the schools in accordance with the Board's policies. He/she informs the Board about school programs, practices and problems and offers professional advice on items requiring Board action, with appropriate recommendations based on thorough study and analysis.  

 

Employee Associations

 

Defendant Capistrano Unified Management Association CUMA

 

Defendant Capistrano Unified Education Association CUEA

 

Defendant California School Employees Association CSEA

 

Defendant Teamsters

 

C.  Causes of Action

 

Count 1.   California's Education Funding Law AB - 97 - School Finance Local Control Funding Formula violates the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution and Article I § 7 and Article 4 § 16 of the California Constitution, commonly known as the equal protection laws of California's Constitution. Read More!

 

Count 2.   California's education funding law AB- 97 School Finance - Local Control Funding Formula violates California Constitution Article XVI, §8. Read More!

 

Count 3.  The manner in which California has chosen to raise and disburse state and local tax revenues creates disparities in spendable funds between school districts that are irrational and constitute hostile and oppressive discrimination against all students who happen to live in school districts with a low percentage of students who are English Language Learners, Receiving Free and Reduced Lunch, or are in Foster Care. Hostile and oppressive discrimination is a violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution and is also a violation of Article I § 7 of the California Constitution and Article 4 § 16 commonly known as the equal protection of the laws of California's Constitution. Read More!

 

Count 4.  California's Education Funding Law AB - 97 - School Finance Local Control Funding Formula makes the quality of educational opportunity that is available to a student dependent on the wealth, race and ethnicity of the students in the district in which they live, and is therefore a violation of Article I § 7 of the California Constitution and Article 4 § 16 commonly known as the equal protection of the laws of California's Constitution. Such a violation can not be remedied by giving local districts the ability to tax themselves a second time to equalize funding that the State is constitutionally mandated to provide. Read More!

 

Count 5 - As a result of the State's actions as alleged in Counts 1 - 4, the civil rights of students and taxpayers continue to be violated without any viable recourse or remedy within the State of California. Read More!

 

Count 6 - Defendant, State Attorney General Kamala Harris is the state's primary legal counsel. She has taken an oath to uphold and enforce the laws of the State fairly and impartially, so that every Californian can enjoy economic prosperity and equal opportunity. Her failure to enforce provisions in the California Constitution (the highest law in the State) as well as relevant Education Codes and case laws, deprives certain students of their ability to achieve equality of educational opportunity in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution and to Article I § 7 of the California Constitution and Article4 § 16 commonly known as the equal protection of the laws of California's Constitution. Read More!

Count 7 -  The State of California is depriving every student in the Capistrano Unified School District of their constitutional right to equal opportunity to achieve a quality education simply because they happen to live in what is perceived to be a "wealthy" area with a low percentage of students who are English Language Learners, Receiving Free and Reduced Lunch, or are in Foster Care; and, irrespective of an individual students wealth, race or ethnicity. Such invidious discrimination is a violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution as well as a violation of Article I § 7 and Article 4 § 16 of the California Constitution commonly known as the equal protection laws of California's Constitution. Read More! 

Count 8 - The Governor and State Legislators are knowingly and intentionally denying students in the Capistrano Unified School District of adequate funding to retain highly qualified staff, to restore programs and services that have been cut since 2006, to have reasonable class sizes, to fix and maintain facilities, to purchase Common Core mandated computers and technology, to build new schools, and add additional classrooms to many impacted school sites. The Governor and State Legislators have failed and refused to act in accordance with Article XVI, §8 of the California Constitution and as a result have denied every student in the Capistrano Unified School District their Constitutional right to achieve a quality education. The continued lack of adequate funding has resulted in a notable decline in academic performance across all demographics. Read More!

 

As to Counts 9 - 11      

 

(a)   As a result of the great recession, the Capistrano Unified School District has been forced to cut $152 million from its budget since 2006 (about 32%). 

 

CUTS TO CUSD STAFF AND PROGRAMS SINCE 2006

 

FY 2006-2007 & FY 2007-2008 - $10.5 million

 

Classified Support Reductions (CSEA) (Eliminated 94 positions)

Classified Support Reductions (Teamsters) (Eliminated 52 positions)

Program and Service Reductions

Reduced home-to-school transportation from 47 to 18 routes operated under a “parent pay” program

 

FY 2008-2009 - $20.5 million

Classified Support Reductions (CSEA) (Eliminated 42 positions)

Classified Support Reductions (Teamsters) (Eliminated 2 positions)

FY 2009-2010 Reductions $33.4 million ($25.6 + $7.8)

Management Reductions: (Eliminated 21 management / confidential positions at the District level and 11 elementary assistant principals)

Classified Support Reductions (CSEA) (Eliminated 55 positions)

Increased Class Sizes: (Increased class sizes in 2nd and 3rd grade from 20 to 31.5 students)

Reduced Instructional support services: (Reduced Counselors, elementary music teachers, psychologists, and resource teachers on special assignment)

Program and Service Reductions: Eliminated or reduced many programs to utilize categorical flexibility including:

Adult Education 

Summer School

PE Grants  

Deferred maintenance

Cal-SAFE

Art & Music Block Grant

CAHSEE Instruction

PAR

Instructional Material·   

Professional Development and School and library Block Grants

Furlough Days

CUEA: 3 non-instructional days +1 instructional day

Management: 11 – 12 days

 FY 2010-2011 - $34.9 million

Salary Restorations $8.2 million

2010-2011 Reductions $26,709,000 ($34.9 - $8.2)

Program Reductions (5-11-10) $ 5,500,000

Eliminated Positions (6-29-10) $ 2,465,000

Management Reductions (FY 2011-2012 Eliminated 2 middle school assistant principals)

Classified Support Reductions (CSEA) (Eliminated 28 positions and reduced calendar days and hours for 9.5 month employees)

Increased Class Sizes: (Increased class sizes in 1st grade from 20 to 31.5 students)

Furlough Days

CSEA: Up to 4.5 days 2010 - 2011

CUEA: 1.5 – 3 days

Teamster: 4 days since

Management: 6 days

 Salary Concessions:

CUEA 1.2% = $ 19,700,000

Teamsters 1% =  $ 490,000

CSEA .7% = $ 5,334,000

CUMA 5.25% = $ 1,470,000

Salary Restorations - All Groups $ (8,250,000) (Students Still Had Furlough days - large class sizes - deferred maintenance - cuts to programs)

 Total Reductions after $8,250 in restorations: $ 26,709,000

FY 2011-2012 - $ 9.6 million

Classified Support Reductions (CSEA) (Reduced Calendar for 10 month employees)

Salary Rollback: (Management 3.7%)

Medical/Dental Benefits – (Effective January 2011, all employees pay a larger share of the monthly premium cost % not specified)

Negotiated Employee Concessions: $39.7 million in identified cuts

FY 2012-2013 - $30 million

Even with the Passage of Prop 30, CUSD was forced to cut $30 million from its FY 2012- 2013 Budget

*Note: The District uses a "MULTI-PRONGED APPROACH" to balancing it's budgets. In 2012-13, proposed Budget Cuts were based on the passage or failure of Prop 30. If Prop 30 passed CUSD would need to cut $30 million from it's budget, if Prop 30 failed CUSD would need to cut $51 million. The multi-pronged approach assumes that cuts start with unilateral cuts to non-negotiated items, and then only looks to negotiated cuts from employee groups if needed. This is a fundamentally flawed approach to addressing CUSD's budget shortfalls. Everything, ("unilateral reductions" and "negotiated concessions") should be on the table together. To force unilateral cuts first then back into negotiated cuts as a last resort, has resulted in a disproportionate amount of cuts to everything except employee compensation while shielding the 90+% of the budget that goes to employee salaries, pensions and benefits. This has had a devastating effect on programs, instructional time and facilities. While CUSD has cut over 30% of its budget since 2006, Teachers have only taken a 1.2% salary schedule reduction, and only after a strike. The strike deprived students of even more instructional time. The cuts have been so deep that they have effected core academic programs which have resulted in a noteable decline in the academic performace of students across all demographics. This can be illustrated by looking at the FY 2012- 2013 Collective Bargaining Agreements and the corresponding FY 2012-2013 Budget that was adopted June 27, 2013.

Unilateral Non-Negotiated Reductions = $11 million

Management (CUMA):  $1.5 million

Classified (CSEA):  $3.5 million

Certificated (CUEA): $3.5 million

Redirect Categorical Funding: $1.1 million

Other area of savings: $1.4 million

Negotiated Employee Concessions: $39.7 million in identified cuts

Savings from Class Size increase: = $8.2 million

Increase Class Size by 1 all grades saves  $4.2 million

Increase Class Size by 1.5 all grades  $6.4 million

Increase Class Size by 2 all grades saves  $8.2 million

Savings from Freezing Salary Schedule: = $2.7 million

Management (CUMA): $162,796 mid-year Jan 2013

Classified (CSEA) : $ 932,554 full-year

Certificated (CUEA):  $1,432,144 mid-year Jan 2013

Teamsters: $207,044 full-year

 Savings from 8 Furlough Days all employees = $9 million

Management (CUMA):   $100,059 per day

Classified (CSEA):   $338,361 per day

Certificated (CUEA):   $1,191,788 per day

Teamsters:   $43,415 x 8 per day

Furlough Days from 2011-2012 contract + 2012-2013 contract

Management (CUMA)   6 current + 2 = Total 8 Furlough Days

Classified (CSEA)         0 current + 8 = Total 8 Furlough Days

Certificated (CUEA)     3 current + 5 = Total 8 Furlough Days

Teamsters                   4 current + 4 = Total 8 Furlough Days

Savings from each 1% Salary Rollback =  $19.8 million

Management (CUMA)   Each 1% = $194,030

Classified (CSEA)         Each 1% = $589,227

Certificated (CUEA)      Each 1% = $2,031,912

Teamsters                  Each 1% = $68,832

Total Identified Cuts $51 million

* When Prop 30 passed CUSD only needed to implement $30 million of the $51 million in identified cuts. CUSD chose not to implement the $19.8 million in identified Salary Rollbacks- preserving employee salaries choosing instead to reduce instructional time, increase class sizes, defer maintenance and cut instructional programs. CUSD intentionally perpetrated a fraud on the public. By negotiating employment contracts behind closed doors and in violation of public disclosure laws, Board Policy, Ed Code and Government Codes, CUSD employees and District Staff unjustly enriched themselves at the expense of the quality of education that every student in CUSD received. The intentional lack of adequate funding has resulted in a notable decline in the academic performance of students across all demographics. 

FY 2013-2014 Reductions $14 million

With the passage of the State's New LCFF, the District received $8.42 million in new funding. However, because there was no LCAP in place to ensure accountability; CUSD passed a FY 2013- 2014 budget without having any employment contracts in place (over 92% of the budget). Execution of CUSD’s 2013-2014 employment contracts were intentionally delayed so that new LCFF money could be added to revenues. WHY? So that the COLA + "New" LCFF moneys could be combined to trigger $5.622 million in salary restorations from the 2010 teachers strike.

By illegally delaying contract negotiations, CUSD employees received $5.622 million in salary restorations that they were not entitled to.  Then, CUSD started the process of identifying $13,381 in budget cuts for FY 2013-2014. CUSD again chose to cut instructional time, increase class size, defer maintenance and cut instructional programs rather then reduce employee salaries. The continued lack of adequate funding has resulted in a notable decline in the academic performance of students across all demographics.

 

(b)    Every educational institution in the State of California actively and illegally "advocated" for the passage of Prop 30 while remaining silent about Prop 38. Prop 38 revenues were earmarked specifically for schools, early care and education and State Debt Payments to schools "deferrals". In the Capistrano Unified School District parents were threatened with 18 furlough days (3 old + 15 new) if Prop 30 failed. Prop 30 passed and it is now settled that 80% of Prop 30 K-12 funding went to employee salaries, pensions and benefits. Nothing went to restore instructional time and programs, fix facilities or reduce class sizes. Defendants, the State of California, Governor Brown, The State Board of Education, and the CUSD Superintendent, CUSD Employees, CUSD District Staff, and Trustees perpetrated a fraud upon the Public. Even though California is enjoying record high tax revenues, nothing has improved for students. Just as the State of California has chosen to spend "excess tax revenues" on new programs and entitlements rather than K-12 public education; CUSD has chosen to spend its revenues to maintain maximum employee compensation rather than provide CUSD students with sufficient funding to achieve their fundamental right to a quality education.

 

(c)    The Capistrano Unified School District uses a "Multi-pronged Approach" to balancing its budgets. First the District starts by increasing compensation for employees. COLA + Step and Column + Benefits + Other. Then if reductions are needed based on State Funding, the District (after new compensation increases, begins to identify cuts). The Multi-prong approach starts with unilateral reductions in staffing and programs and then backs into negotiated concessions. This approach unfairly protects employee compensation at the expense of everything else- programs, class size, instructional time and facilities maintenance. 

 

(d)    The District has used this approach for several years. Until the 2012 election year it would have been very difficult for parents and the public to understand how unfair this approach is to students and to taxpayers. The effect of Prop 30 on District budgets made it very clear how the cuts that are publicized (disclosed to the public) at budget adoption, are not necessarily what cuts are actually made. When budgets are amended at each Interim report it turns out that the cuts to employee salaries disclosed to the public, are never actually implemented. This is a fundamentally flawed approach to addressing CUSD's budget shortfalls because it protects employee compensation (over 90% of the CUSD budget) at the expense of everything else (core educational programs, class sizes, decreases in instructional time, and deferring maintenance). This approach is the reason the Districts Projected Ratio of Unrestricted Salaries and Benefits to Total Unrestricted General Fund Expenditures was above 100% in 2012, and is why the District implemented an Early Retirement Plan to reduce salary expense.

 

Count 9 -   2012-13 Adopted Budget and Employment Contracts

CUSD's 2012-13 Employment Contracts and 2012-13 Budget were entered into illegally; in violation of State and Federal laws.

Contracts entered into illegally are not enforceable.

The illegal contracts resulted in the unjust enrichment of public employees at the expense of students and taxpayers. 

Employees were unjustly enriched in the amount of $19.8 million dollars per year; since July 1, 2012  (6.9% in salary schedule reductions that were not taken). 

As a result of these illegal contracts, students have been forced to endure overcrowded classrooms, overworked teachers, sub-standard facilities and less instructional time then their peers in other districts.

As a result of these illegal contracts there has been a notable decline in the academic performance of students across all demographics.

CUSD knowingly, and intentionally engaged in conduct that denied students their fundamental right to equality of educational opportunity, and prevented students from achieving their individual academic potential, in order to protect the salary schedule of all district employees. 

In the adoption of the 2012-13 employment contracts and 2012-13 budget, the majority, union elected Trustees, used parliamentary maneuvers to prevent minority Trustees from speaking on the record. Majority Trustees breached their legal fiduciary duty to taxpayers and students. This conduct was recorded in Board Audio and documented in e-mails from the Fiscal Expert assigned to CUSD.  

The 2012-13 Budget was based on the passage or failure of Prop 30.

If Prop 30 failed CUSD needed to cut it's budget by $51 million.

If Prop 30 passed, CUSD needed to cut it's budget by $30.2 million.

CUSD identified $51 million in cuts:

$30.2 million: 

1.2%  Salary Schedule Reduction (From 2010 Teachers Strike per mediation - not a newly negotiated item). 

3- Non-instructional furlough days representing a one time 1.62% pay cut for 2012-13 school year 

5 - Instructional furlough days representing a one time 2.7% pay cut for the 2012-13 school year.

Delay of Step and Column for 1/2 year of .5% (means there was a 1/2 year Step and Column salary increase)

$19.8 million:

10 - Instructional Furlough Days representing a one time 5.4% pay cut for 2012-13 school year 

1.5% Salary Schedule Reduction

Savings from each 1% in Salary Rollback = $2,884,001 (1.5% = $4,326,001.5) 
 
Management (CUMA) Each 1% = $ 194,030
Classified (CSEA) Each 1% = $ 589,227
Certificated (CUEA) Each 1% = $2,031,912
Teamsters Each 1% = $ 68,832

When Prop 30 passed, CUSD unilaterally (without public input) choose not to implement $19.8 million salary schedule reductions. CUSD chose to maintain maximum salary schedules rather than provide students with high quality staff, program expansion and variety, beneficial teacher-pupil ratios and class sizes, modern equipment and materials, and high-quality buildings.

CUSD intentionally mis-represented the facts to the public. When the 2012-13 Budget was adopted, the CUSD press release stated:

"Budget Balanced with Employee Concessions - Solutions to $51 million Deficit Found Through Negotiations".

CUSD actively "advocated" for the passage of Prop 30. CUSD threatened parents with a total of 18 furlough days if voters did not vote to approve Prop 30. CUSD remained silent on a competing education funding bill, Prop 38.

When Prop 30 passed the CUSD press release stated:

"Election means no changes to Calendar- Student Instructional Days Remain at 175; no additional employee pay cuts".  

CUSD uses a "Multi-pronged approach" to balancing its budget. This approach assumes that cuts start with unilateral reductions to non-negotiated items, and then only looks to negotiated concessions from employee groups if needed. This is a fundamentally flawed approach to addressing CUSD's budget shortfalls, and is intentionally designed to protect employee salary schedules. Everything, ("unilateral reductions" and "negotiated concessions") should be on the table together. To force unilateral cuts first, then back into negotiated concessions as a last resort, results in a disproportionate amount of cuts to everything except employee salary schedule. From 2010 to the present CUSD has cut $152 million from its budget (32%); yet the salary schedule for teachers has only be reduced one time, a 1.2% salary schedule reduction as a result of the 2010 teachers strike.

The 2012 -13 budget was balanced with $30.2 million in cuts:

$11 million in Unilateral- Non-Negotiated Reductions 

Management (CUMA): $1.5 million
Classified (CSEA): $3.5 million
Certificated (CUEA): $3.5 million
Redirect Categorical Funding: $1.1 million
Other area of savings: $1.4 million

$8.2 million Savings from Class Size increase: = (2 students all grades)

$2.7 million Savings from Freezing Salary Schedule: 

Management (CUMA) $162,796 mid-year Jan 2013
Classified (CSEA) $932,554 full-year
Certificated (CUEA) $1,432,144 mid-year Jan 2013
Teamsters $207,044 full-year

$9 million Savings from 8 Furlough Days all employees (3 Non-Instructional + 5 Instructional)  

Management (CUMA): $100,059 per day
Classified (CSEA): $338,361 per day
Certificated (CUEA): $1,191,788 per day
Teamsters: $43,415 per day 

CUSD employees received a one time reduction in pay 8 furlough days (4.32% pay decrease). 

There was no newly negotiated decrease in salary schedule for 2012-13 despite having to cut $30.2 million from the District Budget. The Employe Contracts were knowingly and intentionally negotiated behind closed doors with the unified objective of protecting employee salary schedules rather than promoting what was in the best interest of educating students.

As a result of these illegal contracts, employees were unjustly enriched at the expense of the quality of education CUSD students receive. Students have been forced to endure overcrowded classrooms, overworked teachers, sub-standards facilities, and less instructional time then their peers in other districts.The continued lack of funding for high quality staff, program expansion and variety, beneficial teacher-pupil ratios and class sizes, modern equipment and materials, and high-quality buildings has resulted in a notable decline in the academic performance of students across all demographics preventing CUSD students from achieving their academic potential and placing them at a disadvantage to their peers in other Districts. 

Taxpayers have also been harmed as a result of these illegal contracts. Protecting salary schedules and giving generous annual raises increases the pension costs.  The costs of retiree benefits for educators would not have increased so much. The high pension costs include those from unfunded benefits for previous retirees, which consume a large and growing share of public tax dollars spent on K–12 education. The amount that does not reach the kids is increasing steadily alongside these raises at the expense of the quality of education students receive. Employee compensation at CUSD is over 90% of the Districts total budget. The State is increasing the required contribution that District's must make to CalSTRS and CalPERS. By 2021 contributions to CalSTRS and CalPERS will be 10% of CUSD's total budget; making employee compensation over 100% of CUSD's budget, leaving nothing in the budget for everything else. 

Unfunded pension liabilities have increased from $49 million in 2011 to $57 million in 2015. With the 8.67% across the board compensation increase for 2016-17 the unfunded liabilities will be well over $60 million and growing.

Read More!

As To Counts 10 and 11:

                 (a) Defendants, the State of California (Governor Brown, the State Legislature and the State Board of Education) have implemented a new education funding law (AB -97 School Finance Local Control Funding Formula)-  that determines per pupil funding based on the wealth, race and ethnicity of an individual school districts students. Districts with a low percentage of students who are English Language Learners, Receiving Free and Reduced Lunch and/or are in Foster Care are funded solely by the "Base Funding Grant".

 

                      (b) The State has intentionally set the Base Funding Grant so low that those Districts with a low percentage of students who are English Language Learners, Receiving Free and Reduced Lunch and/or are in Foster Care are being denied sufficient funding to provide every student with an opportunity to achieve a quality education; defined by the courts to be: "...opportunity to obtain high quality staff, program expansion and variety, beneficial teacher - pupil ratios and class sizes, modern equipment and materials, and high -quality buildings."

 

                      (c) The State's new education funding law is unconstitutional because it violates Article XVI Section 8 of the California Constitution which gives education funding a unique priority above all other state funding obligations and mandates that the State must provide every student with sufficient funding to achieve a quality education.

 

                      (d) The State's new education funding law discriminates against every student that happens to live in a district with a low percentage of students who are English Language Learners, Receiving Free and Reduced Lunch and/or are in Foster Care simply because of where they happen to live, and irrespective of an individual students wealth, race, or ethnicity. Such Discrimination is a violation of the Civil Rights of every student who attends school in a district with a low percentage of students who are English Language Learners, Receiving Free and Reduced Lunch or are in Foster Care. Depriving students of their fundamental right to achieve a quality education simply because of where they happen to live and irrespective of their individual wealth, race and ethnicity violates the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution and Article 1 Section 7 and Article 4 Section 16 commonly known as the Equal Protection laws of the California Constitution.

 

                     (e) California's new education funding law limits K-12 per pupil funding to 2007-08 levels + inflation, and will not reach 2007-08 levels of funding until the year 2021.

 

                     (f) In 2007-08 General Fund revenues were $105 billion dollars. The State of California is currently enjoying record high General Fund revenues of $117 billion dollars with revenues projected to continue to climb over the next two years. It is unconscionable that the state would freeze K-12 funding at 2007-08 levels while State tax revenues soar.

 

                     (g) The deliberate act of freezing K-12 per pupil funding at 2007-08 levels, coupled with the intentional act of setting the base funding grant low is evidence of the fact that Defendants, the State of California (Governor Brown, the State Legislature and the State Board of Education) are in fact using California's public education system to redistribute wealth rather than provide every student with sufficient funding to achieve a quality education. Such discrimination is invidious and violates the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution and Article 1 Section 7 and Article 4 Section 16 commonly known as the Equal Protection laws of the California Constitution.

 

                     (h) Defendants, the State of California (Governor Brown, the State Legislature and the State Board of Education) conspired with California's Public Employee Unions to protect public employee salaries, pensions and benefits during the great recession; and did so at the expense of the quality of education that all students in the State of California receive by depriving students of sufficient funding to achieve a quality education.  The Continued lack of adequate funding has resulted in a notable decline in the academic performance of students in the Capistrano Unified School District across all demographics as evidenced by the LCAP and historical data.

 

Count 9 -       (i) Defendants, Capistrano Unified School District, employee bargaining units (CUEA, CSEA, Teamsters, CUMA), and CUSD Trustees; knowingly and intentionally negotiated behind closed doors to adopt a 2012-13 budget and corresponding employment contracts that defendants new were detrimental to students, and would result in the unjust enrichment of CUSD employees at the expense of students. Defendants conspired behind closed doors to increase class sizes, cut programs, defer maintenance and cut instructional time in order to avoid a reduction in salary schedule (employee compensation makes up 90+ % of the districts budget, and was projected to be over 100% of the budget until the District implemented an early retirement plan).

 

                    (j) Defendants, Capistrano Unified School District, employee bargaining units (CUEA, CSEA, Teamsters, CUMA), and CUSD Trustees conspired to execute employment contracts that unjustly enriched employees at the expense of the quality of education that students received. Defendants failed to comply with Public Disclosure Laws California Government Code Section 3547-3547.5, California Education Code Sections 42130 and 42131 and Board Policy 4143.1(a).

 

                    (k) At the June 27, 2012 Board of Trustees Meeting to Adopt the 2012-13 Budget and corresponding employment contracts, Majority Trustees violated Roberts Rules of Order and used parliamentary maneuvers to prevent minority Trustees from making public comments on the record about the budget and contracts. This was documented by a fiscal expert from the Orange County Department of Education who was in attendance at the meeting. Defendant Orange County Department of Education did not intervene on behalf of students.

 

                    (l) Defendant OCDE was party to the entire negotiation process as evidenced by internal e-mails tracking CUSD's negotiations with it's employee bargaining units.  The continued lack of funding for student services (other than employee compensation) has resulted in a notable decline in the academic performance of students across all demographics as evidenced by the LCAP and historical data. As a result of all defendants intentional misconduct, every student in the Capistrano Unified School District has been deprived of their constitutional right to achieve a quality education; which is a violation of the civil rights of every student in the District.

 

Count 10 - 2013-14 Adopted Budget and Employment Contracts

 

Defendants, Capistrano Unified School District, employee bargaining units (CUEA, CSEA, Teamsters, CUMA), and CUSD Trustees; knowingly and intentionally negotiated behind closed doors to adopt a 2013-14 budget and corresponding employment contracts that defendants new were detrimental to students, and would result in the unjust enrichment of CUSD employees at the expense of students. Defendants conspired behind closed doors to intentionally delay contract negotiations so that new Local Control Funding Formula revenues could be added to the COLA only budget to trigger $5.62 million in salary restorations.  The employment contracts were not entered into in good faith, and are not legally binding. The $5.62 million in salary restorations was not legally triggered. Defendants perpetrated a fraud upon the public. As a result of defendants intentional misconduct, students have been denied their fundamental right to achieve a quality education. Due to a lack of adequate funding students have been denied their constitutional right to obtain high quality staff, program expansion and variety, beneficial pupil teacher ratios and class sizes, modern equipment and materials, and high quality buildings. The continued lack of adequate funding has resulted in a notable decline in the academic performance of students across all demographics as evidenced by the LCAP and historical data. As a result of all defendants intentional misconduct, every student in the Capistrano Unified School District has been deprived of their constitutional right to achieve a quality education; which violates the civil rights of every student in CUSD. Read More!

 

Count 11 -2014-15 Adopted Budget and Employment Contracts

 

(i) Defendants, Capistrano Unified School District, employee bargaining units (CUEA, CSEA, Teamsters, CUMA), and CUSD Trustees; knowingly and intentionally negotiated behind closed doors to adopt a 2014-15 budget that defendants knew was detrimental to students, and would result in the unjust enrichment of CUSD employees at the expense of students.

 

                     (j) Defendants, Capistrano Unified School District, employee bargaining units (CUEA, CSEA, Teamsters, CUMA), and CUSD Trustees conspired to execute employment contracts that unjustly enriched employees at the expense of the quality of education that students received. Defendants failed to comply with Public Disclosure Laws- California Government Code Section 3547-3547.5, California Education Code Sections 42130 and 42131 and Board Policy 4143.1(a).

 

                      (k) On June 24, 2015 the CUSD Board of Trustees adopted a 2015-16 Budget without having 2015-16 employment contracts settled violating Public Disclosure Laws California Government Code Section 3547-3547.5, California Education Code Sections 42130 and 42131 and Board Policy 4143.1(a). Employee Compensation represents over 90% of the Capistrano Unified School Districts Budget:

 

                      (l)  As to Defendant CUSD's 2014-15 Employment Contract with Defendant CUEA:

Initial Proposal of CUSD to CUEA for 2014-15 dated March 12, 2014

Made Public and was approved at the March 12, 2014 BOT Meeting Agenda Item #2 

Initial Proposal of CUSD to CUEA for 2014 -15 dated March 26, 2014

Made Public and was approved at the March 26 2014 BOT Meeting Agenda Item #5 (Identical to March 12, 2014 Proposal)

Initial Proposal of CUEA to CUSD for 2014-15 submitted to CUSD March 19, 2014 according to CUEA Bargaining up-date

Initial Proposal of CUEA to CUSD for 2014-15 dated March 26, 2014 was Made Public at the April 23, 2014 BOT Meeting Agenda Item #11 which does not match the representations of CUEA to its members.

CONTRACT NEGOTIATIONS BETWEEN CUSD/CUEA FOR 2014-15 CAN FORMALLY BEGIN AS OF APRIL 23, 2014

On June 25, 2014 CUSD Adopted the 2014-15 Budget without 2014-15 employment contracts in place (90+ % of CUSD's total budget).

Article 12.1 of the Contract between CUEA and CUSD for 2013-14 requires both parties to negotiate in good faith to complete new contracts before the old contract expires or file an Impasse. Both parties breached Article 12 of the 2013-14 contract.

On June 30, 2014 CUSD/CUEA 2013-14 Contract Expired - No Impasse was filed.

The parties failed to negotiate in good faith to execute a new employment contract for 2014-15 prior to adopting the 2014-15 Budget. The 2014-15 Adopted Budget materially changed instructional time, class size and employee compensation. 

July 1, 2014 2014-15 Fiscal Budget year begins with no contracts in place for CUEA for 2014-15.

August 12, 2014 Collective Bargaining Meeting CUSD/CUEA

November 14, 2014 Collective Bargaining Meeting CUSD/CUEA

December 18, 2014 Collective Bargaining Meeting CUSD/CUES

January 21 Bargaining Meeting

January 13, 2015 CUEA Releases Bargaining Up-date to Rep Council which spells out Collective Bargaining Meeting Dates

2014-15 Adopted Budget already contained money to restore teachers work year to 185 days (eliminate furlough days) and to reduce class size when MOU expired. CUEA is looking for a 3% to 6% salary schedule increase for 2014-15.

February 24, 2015 CUEA Releases Bargaining up-date to its members

2014-15 budget restored school year to 180 days and teacher work year to 185 days no more pay cuts. Class sizes per negotiated agreement.

March 5, 2015 CUEA Releases Bargaining up-date to its members - looking for increased salary schedule

March 13, 2015 CUEA Releases Bargaining up-date to its members - looking for salary schedule increase.

On March 30, 2015 CUSD made proposed changes to the Tentative Agreement regarding Article 5.8 Banked Minutes

On March 30, 2015 CUSD responds

On March 30, 2015 CUSD and CUEA reached a tentative Agreement for July 1, 2014 - June 30, 2015. 

The retro-active agreement increased CUEA compensation by $4,084,000.

Made public, and adopted at the April 22, 2015 BOT meeting Agenda Item #4 

The new Contract increased the compensation by 3% (2% salary schedule increase and a 1% off schedule collaboration payment). The Salary schedule increase is retro-active beginning February 1, 2015. 

The alternative TK-2 class size language saves the District $10 million 2014-15 through 2019-20

 

                      (m) As to Defendant CUSD's 2014-15 Employment Contract with Defendant CSEA:

CSEA current contract for July 1, 2013- June 30, 2015 was adopted October 1, 2013

Initial Proposal of CUSD to CSEA for 2014-15 dated March 12, 2014

Made Public and adopted at the March 12, 2014 BOT Meeting Agenda Item #3

Initial Proposal of CUSD to CSEA for 2014-15 dated March 26, 2014 Agenda Item #6 (Identical to the March 12, 2014 Proposal)

Made Public and adopted at the March 26, 2014 BOT Meeting Agenda Item #6

Initial Proposal of CSEA to CUSD for 2014-15 dated March 12, 2014

Made Public and adopted at the March 26, 2014 BOT Meeting

CONTRACT NEGOTIATIONS BETWEEN CUSD/CSEA FOR 2014-15 CAN FORMALLY BEGIN AS OF MARCH 26, 2014

On June 25, 2014 CUSD adopted the 2014-15 Budget without 2014-15 employment contracts in place

On June 17, 2014 CUSD and CUEA executed an MOU for July 1, 2013 -June 30, 2014 to retroactively "fix" a Step delay Salary Schedule at a cost to CUSD of $395,000.

The MOU was made Public and Adopted at the July 9 BOT Meeting Agenda Item #1

On December 18, 2014  CUSD and CSEA executed an MOU for July 1 2014 -  re: Identification Badge Pilot Program.

 

                      (n) As to Defendant CUSD's 2015-16 Employment Contract with Defendant Teamsters:

Initial Proposal of CUSD to Teamsters for 2014-15 dated March 12, 2014

Made Public at the March 12, 2014 BOT Meeting Agenda Item #4

Initial Proposal of CUSD to Teamsters for 2014-15 dated March 26, 2014 Agenda Item #7 (Identical to the March 12, 2014 Proposal)

Made Public at the March 26, 2014 BOT Meeting agenda Item #7

Initial Proposal of Teamsters to CUSD for 2014-15 dated April 29, 2014

Made Public at the May 14, 2014 BOT Meeting agenda Item #5

CONTRACT NEGOTIATIONS BETWEEN CUSD/TEAMSTERS FOR 2014-15 CAN FORMALLY BEGIN AS OF MAY 14, 2014

On June 10, 2014 CUSD and Teamsters entered into a Tentative Agreement for the period June 1, 2014 - June 30, 2015

Made Public and Adopted at the June 25, 2014 BOT Meeting Agenda Item #14

The Tentative agreement contained Articles and Restoration not contained in Initial Proposals of CUSD or Teamsters and did not disclose the final cost of the agreement to CUSD; in violation of Public Disclosure laws Government Code Section 3547-3547.5, California Education Code 42130 and 4231 and Board Policy 4143.1(a)

On June 16, 2015 (one year later) CUSD and Teamsters executed an Interim Tentative Agreement and MOU dated June 16, 2015 for period July 1, 2015 - June 30, 2015

Made Public and Adopted at the June 25, 2015 BOT Meeting agenda Item #14 

The new agreement is a retro-active compensation increase that gives Teamsters a 2% salary schedule increase, a 2% Step and Column Salary increase, a 2% increase in Statutory benefits and a a 1% off schedule collaboration payment. This retroactively gave Teamsters the same compensation increase that CUEA negotiated. Average compensation increased from $62,879 to $70,135 under this new agreement. 

The cost to CUSD was stated to be $124,000

 

                       (o) As to Defendant CUSD's 2015-16 Employment Contract with CUMA

Tentative Agreement with CUMA July 1, 2014 - June 30, 2015

Adopted at the June 25, 2014 BOT Meeting Agenda Item #15 (after budget adopted)

3rd Amendment to Deputy Superintendent of Business Services Clark Hampton's Employment Contract.

Contract agreement with Clark Hampton Deputy Superintendent Business Services July 1, 2015 - June 30, 2018

Adopted at the November 12 2014 BOT Meeting Agenda Item #16

Recommendation of Revised Employment Agreement CUMA/CUSD for the period July 1, 2014 - June 30, 2015 

Adopted at the June 24, 2015 Agenda Item #15

The cost to CUSD was stated to be $422,000

Recommendation of 4th Amendment to Employment Agreement with Deputy Superintendent, Business Services, for the period July 1, 2014 - June 30, 2015 and July 1, 2015- June 30, 2018.

Adopted at the June 24, 2015 BOT Meeting agenda Item #16

The cost to CUSD was stated to be $3,820

2% salary schedule increase

1% off schedule salary adjustment

This increases Clark Hampton's Compensation from $191,000 to $194,000 

 

                       (p) As to Defendant CUSD's 2015-16 Budget:

PUBLIC HEARING 2015-16 Budget BOT Meeting June 11, 2014 Agenda Item #3

Vote to Adopt 2015-16 Budget BOT Meeting June 25, 2014 Agenda Item #13 - Employment Contracts not settled

What was presented to the Public June 11, 2014 was different at the June 25 2014 BOT Meeting - Certificated Salaries and Benefits had been reduced by $673,000 (not reflected in June 11th information).

The newly adopted budget increased employee compensation, restored the school year to 180 days and changed class sizes (all negotiated items) without having new contracts in place. 

Total Increased Compensation Expense 2014-15:

CUEA: $4,084,000

CSEA: $395,000

Teamsters: $124,000

CUMA: $3,820 = $422,000 = $425,820

Total: $5,028,820 in new compensation retro-actively added to the 2014-15 budget

 

                       (q) As to Defendant CUSD's 2014- 15 and 2015 - 16 LCAP and Class Size Reduction

Annual LCAP Up-date BOT Meeting January 28 2015 Agenda Item #5 Goal 1 Decrease Class Size per negotiated contract

Measurable Outcome #3 on page 36 of 43 states that CUSD spent $4,973 million to reduce class sizes in 2014-15

Letter from OCDE to CUSD dated April 16, 2015 states that there was no class size reduction in 2013-14 or 2014 -15

The $4,973 that CUSD stated would be spent on class size reduction was spent to increase employee compensation as in this complaint. The District and it's employee bargaining groups perpetrated a fraud upon the public resulting in the unjust enrichment of employees at the expense of students. As a result students 

 

                       (r) Defendant Orange County Department of Education and Defendant Orange County Department of Education Board of Trustees, responsible for reviewing both CUSD's LCAP, Employment Contracts and Budget for fiscal solvency failed to do so, and as a result allowed CUSD to file a positive budget without having employment contracts in place. Further, the OCDE accepted CUSD's LCAP stating that it was spending $4,973 million to reduce class sizes and then in a letter accepting CUSD's Tentative Agreement with CUEA acknowledged that there were no class size reductions in 2013-14 and 2014-15. As a result of the failure of the OCDE and it's Board of Trustees to oversee CUSD, the fundamental right that every student has to achieve a quality education has been violated. Without oversight, Defendant CUSD, employee bargaining units (CUEA, CSEA, Teamsters and CUMA) and CUSD Board of Trustees were allowed to conspire behind closed doors to unjustly enrich CUSD employees at the expense of students thereby depriving students of the funding needed to achieve a quality education. 

 

                        (s) The continued lack of adequate funding has resulted in a notable decline in the academic performance of students across are demographics as evidenced by the LCAP and historical data referenced in this complaint and incorporated herein. Read More! 

 

Count 12 - Collaboration - Collusion - Conspiracy

 

Defendants the Governor, State Legislature, State Board of Education, County Board of Education, and the Capistrano Unified School district, their Board of Trustees and State employee Unions conspired to protect and grow employee salaries, pensions and benefits during the great recession. Now, through the longest economic recovery in the United States history defendants are leaving the State's public education system on life support. The State's failure and refusal to provide funding for K-12 facilities in it's Five Year Master Facility Plan violates Article XVI Section 8 of the California Constitution. Read More!

 

Count 13 - Defendants Governor Brown, the State Legislature, State Superintendent of Public Education Tom Torlakson are perpetrating a fraud on California's people by intentionally mis-leading the public about California's academic standards and by intentionally trying to remove historical test data from public view in an effort to hide declining academic performance of students from the public. Read More!

 

Count 14 - Defendant State of California (Governor Brown and the California State Legislature) knew that the intent of Proposition 37 which amended the California Constitution to authorize the establishment of a statewide lottery was to provide supplemental monies to benefit public education (specifically to provide guaranteed funds for textbooks and supplies) without the imposition of additional or increased taxes. However, like all revenue streams created to benefit students; Legislative action has allowed these restricted revenue streams to be converted to the general fund to be spent on employee compensation rather than the funds intended purpose - instructional materials. As a result, students have been deprived of their constitutional right to achieve a quality education. Read More!

 

Count 15 - Article IX Section 5 of the California Constitution "The Free School Guarantee" requires the State of California to provide a free and equal education to every student. When the State fails to comply with this mandate, parents and taxpayers are forced to rely on fundraising and donations to pay for supplies, instructional materials, art, music and science programs. Donations are now being used to buy back school librarians, counselors, nurses and instructional aides. Donations are also paying for teacher stipends, teacher release time, and staff development. Relying on fundraising and donations to pay for these things is a violation of Article IX Section 5 of the California Constitution because it creates wealth based inequities in Public Education which is a violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution and the California Constitution. Read More!

 

Count 16 - Defendant Capistrano Unified School District is mandated to offer and fund a visual and performing arts curriculum for every student in grades K-12. In grades 1 - 6, the law requires a district to offer two visual and performing arts classes at each elementary school site. The Capistrano Unified School District is no longer funding a K-3 Primary Music Program for all students in grades 1-6. The Capistrano Unified School District is no longer funding an art program for every student in grades 1-6. The District has cut art and music programs, and is relying on fundraising and donations to pay for art and music. Those schools that are unable to fundraise have no art and/or music. Capistrano Unified School District is in violation of the following laws and Board Policies:

US Constitution:

14th Amendment Section 1 - Equal Protection of the laws

California Constitution:  

Article 9 Section 5 - Free School Guarantee,

 Article 1 Section 7 and Article 4 Section 16 - Equal Protection of the Laws

Education Code Sections:

51210- mandated minimum state curriculum for grades 1-6

51220 - mandated minimum state curriculum for grades 7-12

Board Policies:

0410 Philosophy - Goals - Objectives and Comprehensive Plans - Nondiscrimination in District Programs and Activities

0420.1 Philosophy - Goals - Objectives and Comprehensive Plans - School-Based Program Guidelines

1000 Community Relations - Concepts and Roles

1020 Community Relations - Youth Services

1100 Community Relations - Communication with the Public

1160 - Community Relations - Political Process

1230 Community Relations - School Connected Organizations

1321 Community Relations- Solicitation of Funds From and By Students

3260 Business and Non-instructional Operations - Student Fees

3290 Business and Non-Instructional Operations - Gifts, Grants and Bequests.

3291 Business and Non-Instructional Operations - Gifts to School Personnel 

5180 Students - Nondiscrimination

6142.6 Instruction - Visual and Performing Arts Education

6143 Instruction - Courses of Study

6145 - Instruction - Extracurricular and Co-curricular Activities

6145.5 -  Instruction - Student Organizations and Equal Access

 Read more!