Ochoa v. Anaheim City Sch. Dist.Annotate this Case
Substantial evidence supported the trial court’s finding that the "trigger petition" at issue in this case satisfied the parent signature requirement. The petition was submitted pursuant to the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, which mandated that states establish accountability systems, requiring that all schools make “adequate yearly progress” (AYP). California later enacted the Parent Empowerment Act of 2010 (the Act) which allowed parents of children in poor-performing schools to trigger a change in the governance of those schools. In early 2015, parents of students enrolled at Palm Lane Elementary School in Anaheim submitted such a petition under the Act to the Anaheim City School District. Petitioners), filed a petition for a writ of mandate against Anaheim City School District and Anaheim City School District Board of Education (together, the District). The petition sought the issuance of a writ commanding the District to accept the trigger petition or provide legally sufficient reasons for rejecting it. Following a six-day bench trial, the court found the District’s reasons for rejecting the trigger petition invalid and granted the petition for a writ of mandate. The Court of Appeal affirmed the district court, finding: (1) the Act applied to Palm Lane Elementary School; (2) substantial evidence supported the trial court's finding that the trigger petition met the requirements under the Act and Regulations section 4804; (3) insufficient evidence showed that the entity called Ed Reform Now constituted an agency or organization that supported the trigger petition through direct financial assistance or in-kind contributions of staff and volunteers, so as to require that its name appear on the front page of the trigger petition within the meaning of Regulations section 4802, subdivision (a)(1) and (10); and (4) Petitioners exhausted their administrative remedies by submitting the trigger petition to the District in January 2015, so they were not required to resubmit a revised petition to the District before seeking writ relief.