Cal. Sch. Bds. Ass'n v. State Bd. of Educ.Annotate this Case
Education Code (47605.8) authorizes the State Board of Education (Board) to grant (or deny) an application for a “state charter school” and directs the Board to adopt regulations. The Administrative Procedure Act (APA) governs both quasi-judicial proceedings and adjudicatory proceedings by an agency. The Education Code refers to the APA section concerning adjudicatory proceedings. The Board claimed that the reference was an error and that, in directing the Board to “implement” the statute, the Legislature intended to refer to APA rule-making provisions. The California School Boards Association argued—and the trial court agreed—that the statutory language is plain and cannot be disregarded. The court of appeal reversed. The statute governs approval or denial of a charter school application, which is a quasi-legislative function—requiring consideration of policy questions and the opportunity for public input—and is fundamentally at odds with adjudicatory procedures. Legislative directives to adopt regulations for the implementation of a statute invariably call for a rule-making process pursuant to the APA’s adjudicatory provisions, so the reference is a complete anomaly. The use of an adjudicatory proceeding to approve or deny state charters would be inconsistent with all other like provisions in the Charter School Act, none of which entail quasi-judicial proceedings.