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Judge Grants LAUSD Arbitration Motion Regarding Charter Schools
By City News Service
Published July 19, 2007

CNS – A motion by LAUSD to move a dispute between the school district and two charter school operators out of the courts and into arbitration was approved by a judge, court papers obtained Monday show.

Green Dot Public Schools and Partnerships to Uplift Communities filed a complaint against the Los Angeles Unified School District in Los Angeles Superior Court on May 17. They maintained the district has violated state law by not giving them enough classroom space.

The space is available, but district officials and members of the school board are biased against charter schools because they consider them competitors, according to the complaint.

Both sides argued before Judge Robert H. O’Brien last Friday morning. He took the LAUSD’s motion to compel arbitration under submission and issued his ruling later in the day.

Attorneys for the district maintain that PUC and the LAUSD agreed when the operator’s charter schools were established that they would first mediate, then arbitrate any dispute between them.

“But the thrust of PUC’s opposition consists of little more than the naked plea that the district’s motion to compel arbitration should be denied because ‘this case cries out for a judge to examine LAUSD’s conduct,’” Fredric D. Woocher, an LAUSD attorney, wrote in court papers.

James L. Arnone, a lawyer for the charter school operators, stated in his court documents the dispute does not arise from his clients, but from the LAUSD’s alleged violations of Proposition 39.

Proposition 39 was passed by voters in November 2000 and requires districts to provide facilities for public charter schools.

“This dispute arises from an initiative statute that forces school districts to provide facilities to public charter schools — whether they like it or not,” Arnone stated.

Categories: Education

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