Count 8

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, 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 an equal opportunity to achieve a quality education. The continued lack of adequate funding has resulted in a continued decline in academic performance across all demographics.

1.     The State of California has a Constitutional mandate to provide every student with an equal opportunity to achieve a quality education. While the courts have been reluctant to define what "adequate" funding is, the Court's will have little trouble defining what "inadequate" funding is based on the allegations in this complaint.


In Serrano II, the Court defined "Equal Opportunity":


"...equal opportunity means all students should have the same opportunity to obtain highly qualified staff, program expansion and variety, beneficial teacher-pupil ratios and class sizes, modern equipment and materials, and high- quality buildings." 

Serrano v. Priest (1976) 18 Cal.3d 728  (Serrano II) 


2.     The level of funding that the Capistrano Unified School District receives is insufficient to provide the basic requirements for a quality education as defined by the courts.


During the economic recession, CUSD was forced to cut $152 million from its annual budget (a 32% reduction in annual revenues).    



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  


Management Reductions (Eliminated 26 District-level management and confidential positions and 5 site-level positions)


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)

FY 2009-2010 (April 2009) - $25.6 million + FY 2009-2010 (September 2009) - $7.8 million  


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·   


Art & Music Block Grant·          

CAHSEE Instruction·   


Instructional Materials·    

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

FY 2010-2011 Reductions $34.9 million - Salary Restorations $8.2 million


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 had Furlough days - increased 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)

 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 balance its budget. 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 2012-13 budget. If Prop 30 failed CUSD would need to cut $51 million from its 2012-13 budget. This 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 concessions as a last resort, has resulted in a disproportionate amount of cuts to core education programs while shielding the 90+% of the budget that goes to employee compensation from the bulk of cuts CUSD has faced since 2006. 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, 2012. To preserve employee salaries, Students had 8 furlough days, class size increases of 1.5 students across all grades, deferred maintenance, and $ 5.5 million in program reductions.


Source: CUSD FY 2013- 2014 Fiscal Year Budget Up-date June 12, 2013: laid out the tools CUSD had to make $30 - $51 million in cuts (depending on the passage or failure of Prop 30).


Source: 2013-14 Collective Bargaining agreement CUEA


Source: 2013-14 Collective Bargaining agreement CSEA


Source: 2013-14 Collective Bargaining agreement Teamsters




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. This was not disclosed to parents and the public. The District represented to parents and the public that the District balanced it's budget with $51 million in employee concessions. The reality is that the budget was balanced on the backs of students in order to shield employees from a 1% salary rollback.

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 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 paid employees $5.622 million in salary restorations then started the process of identifying $13,381 in budget cuts for FY 2013-2014.

See: Memorandum from Clark Hampton, Deputy Superintendent, Business and Support Services to Superintendent and Broad of Trustees re: Use of Additional Funding from 2012-13 to 2013-14 and Public Disclosure of  Collective Bargaining Agreement dated July 30, 2013 Source: 

3.     Proposition 30 Temporary Taxes to Fund Education. Guaranteed Local Public Safety Funding. Initiative Constitutional Amendment


School Districts across the State went to extraordinary lengths to get Prop 30 passed in order to "save" schools and California's Public Education System. Every educational institution in the State actively; and illegally, "advocated" for the passage of Prop 30 while remaining virtually silent on a competing education funding initiative Proposition 38 Tax To fund Education and Early Childhood Programs Initiative Statute


Proposition 30 funding was earmarked for California's general fund. Prop 38 funding was earmarked specifically for Education and could not be used by the Legislature to fund other general fund obligations.


Prop 30 passed.


It is now settled that 80% of K- 12 Prop 30 money went to employee salaries, pensions and benefits while students continued to suffer increased class sizes, cuts to programs, reduced instructional time (furlough days), and deferred maintenance. 

See: (60% of K-12 Prop 30 money went to salaries 20% went to benefits).



Students did not benefit from the passage of Prop 30 as promised. This was a concerted effort on the part of California public employee unions working in conjunction with Defendants Governor Brown and the California State Legislature to raise tax revenues for the sole purpose of backfilling the unfunded pensions of government employees. Prop 30 had nothing to do with the State wanting to improve quality educational opportunities for students. 


4.     The State of California has a Constitutional mandate to provide a free and equal education to EVERY student in California; irrespective of an individual students wealth, race or ethnicity. When the State of California, fails to provide adequate funding to a school district it means the District is continually faced with budget decisions that pit what is in the best interest of educating students against what is in the economic interests of employees. The result is a lack of transparency and corruption within the District that results in so little funding going to anything except employee compensation that students are deprived of the educational resources they need to achieve even a minimum education and are denied the ability to fulfill their academic potential. Students in CUSD are not being given the funding that is necessary to provide them with an opportunity they need to achieve a quality education like their peers in Basic Aid Districts, or Districts with higher percentages of students who are English Language Learners, Receiving Free and Reduced Lunch or are in Foster Care. Such deprivation of their fundamental right to education is a violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution and Article 1 Section 7 and Article 4 section 16 commonly referred to as the equal protection laws of California.


Plaintiff incorporates the LCAP Data and historical testing data into this complaint to show that a continued lack of adequate funding has resulted in a notable decline in the academic performance of CUSD students across all grade levels and all demographics as evidenced by CUSD's LCAP and historical data. See: CUSD Local Control Accountability Plan incorporated into this complaint


5.     The California economy is experiencing the longest economic recovery in the State’s history; yet the State’s new education funding law (Local Control Funding Formula) is limiting K-12 education funding to 2007 -08 levels, and will not reach 2007-08 funding levels + inflation until the year 2021. Despite this limit on revenues, the cost of educating students continues to climb. The cost to educate a student is not frozen at 2007-08 levels + inflation, which means school districts in California will remain severely underfunded into the foreseeable future.  During the economic recession, CUSD was forced to cut $152 million from the District’s Budget (about 32% annually). During that same time, extraordinary measures were taken by CUSD to protect employee compensation from cuts despite the fact that CUSD employee compensation represented over 90% of the Districts budget. 


Despite tough economic times and a continued lack of adequate funding from the State of California, CUSD's employees have continued to see Automatic Step & Column Salary increases, COLA Increases, Health and Welfare Benefit Increases. These increases have been paid for with class size increases, deferred maintenance, lost instructional time (furlough days) and cuts to academic programming, The ongoing cuts to student services have resulted in a notable decline in academic performance across all grade levels and all ethnicities as evidenced by CUSD's LCAP and historical data. 


Defendants Capistrano Unified School District, CUEA, CSEA, Teamsters, CUMA, CUSD Trustees have negotiated behind closed doors to adopt district budgets and execute employment contracts that defendants knew were detrimental to students, and that unjustly enriched employees at the expense of students. To maintain maximum employee compensation through $152 million in revenue reductions (32% annually) students had increased class sizes (now the largest in the State of California and the Nation), lost instructional time (furlough days), program reductions and deferred maintenance.


The District was forced to implement an early retirement because the ratio of employee salaries, pensions and benefits to revenue exceeded 100% of the Districts total projected revenue.


The State's intentional and ongoing violation of Article XVI, §8 of the California Constitution which requires the State to set aside enough funding to provide every student with equal opportunity for a quality education is a violation of the civil rights of every student in the Capistrano Unified School District.