Court of Appeal reverses judgment against GMSR’s clients, finding no due process violation in charter school revocation proceedings

Today’s Fresh Start, Inc. v. Los Angeles County Office of Education, et al. (2011) 197 Cal.App.4th 436 (California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, Division One) [published]. Following administrative proceedings, GMSR’s client, Los Angeles County Board of Education, revoked the charter of Today’s Fresh Start, a charter school. The trial court ordered it reinstated. The court found that the revocation proceedings violated due process because they failed to include a formal, trial-type evidentiary hearing in front of a neutral hearing officer before the board made its decision. In a case of first impression, the Court of Appeal reversed, finding that the trial court had added a new layer of fact finding and adjudication to procedures provided in the Education Code, which neither the Education Code nor due process required. The Court of Appeal also addressed issues concerning exhaustion of administrative remedies in the context of charter revocation proceedings, as well as the role of the State Board of Education and local boards with respect to such matters.