No. C078491 IN THE COURT OF APPEAL OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA THIRD APPELLATE DISTRICT
ANDERSON UNION HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT, Plaintiffs and Appellants, v. SHASTA SECONDARY HOME SCHOOL, Defendant and Respondent.
On Appeal from the Superior Court of Shasta County The Honorable Monica Marlow No. 177944 __________________________________________________________ APPLICATION OF ALTUS INSTITUTE NETWORK OF CHARTERED SCHOOLS FOR LEAVE TO FILE AMICUS CURIAE BRIEF OF IN SUPPORT OF RESPONDENT SHASTA SECONDARY HOME SCHOOL
LATHAM & WATKINS LLP James L. Arnone [SBN 150606] Winston P. Stromberg [SBN 258252] 355 South Grand Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90071-1560 [email protected] [email protected]
LATHAM & WATKINS LLP Jennifer K. Roy [SBN 281954] 12670 High Bluff Drive San Diego, CA 92130 [email protected]
Attorneys for Amicus Curiae Altus Institute Network of Chartered Schools
Pursuant to California Rules of Court, Rule 8.200(c), Altus Institute Network of Chartered Schools (hereafter referred to as “Altus”), respectfully applies for leave to file the attached Amicus Curiae Brief in support of Respondent Shasta Secondary Home School (“Shasta”). Altus seeks to file this brief in order to urge the Court to uphold the law and years of practice by affirming the Superior Court’s ruling that the California Education Code does not limit the location of nonclassroombased resource centers outside of an authorizing school district but within the same county. As a parent organization to a network of chartered schools that share the philosophy of putting students first in education, Altus believes its views will assist the court in resolving this case by addressing the important role that nonclassroom-based resource centers play in the public school system and in meeting the California Legislature’s goal of providing “services and resources to enable pupils to complete their independent study successfully and  ensure the same access to all existing services and resources in the school in which the pupil is enrolled.” (Ed. Code § 51746.) These facilities fill an important need for California public school students. Approximately 18 percent (148 out of 828) of the autonomous or semiautonomous charter schools in California are classified as nonclassroom-
based schools and offer independent study, representing a total of 91,622 students enrolled in nonclassroom-based charter schools. 1 Altus maintains four charter schools—The Charter School of San Diego, Audeo Charter School, Laurel Preparatory Academy, and Mirus Secondary School. In total, these four schools include over 35 resource centers, including nearly a dozen Out of District In County (“ODIC”) resource centers. Altus-affiliated resource centers operate as independent study programs under Education Code sections 51745 (Independent Study Education Code) and 47612.5(b) (General Requirements). The resource centers focus on academic improvement, high-caliber teaching, safe and supportive learning environments, and the development of role models for educational reform. The resource centers also serve the diverse needs of students by creating a menu of learning opportunities including independent study, home study, distance learning, and other creative modes of instructional delivery developed by staff. The number of students served by Altus resource centers has increased each year for the past three years. This increase shows a clear community need and demand for the Altus instructional program. During the 2014-2015 academic year, for example, over 7,000 students advanced 1
An Analysis of the Charter School Facility Landscape in California, April 2015, http://www.charterschoolcenter.org/sites/default/files/files/ field_publication_attachment/Facility%20Landscapein%20California%20A pril2015_0_0.pdf (“Charter School Facility Landscape”), at pp. 27-28. 3
socially and academically by attending an Altus ODIC resource center. Of these students, 98 percent achieved their academic goals or remained in school. If not for the option of an Altus resource center, over 800 students over the past three years might not have completed their high school education. Despite the continued success of Altus’ resource centers for over a decade, their importance to fulfilling the educational needs of students in Southern California, and the California’s Legislature’s intention of fostering a system of competition in the education system, Altus has faced pressure from local school districts to close its ODIC resource centers. Accordingly, in order to prevent a devastating result for thousands of students at Altus ODIC resource centers and the elimination of alternative educational opportunities for California public school students who need them most, it is imperative that the Court affirm the correct reading of the law regarding geographic limitations for resource centers. Altus’ interest and perspective regarding the effect this case will have on charter schools throughout California and on the public school students they serve is important for this Court to consider. Altus respectfully requests leave to file the accompanying amicus curiae brief.
No party or counsel to the pending appeal, or any other person or entity, participated in the drafting of Altus’ Amicus Curiae brief or made any contribution to its preparation. (Cal. Rules of Court, rule 8.200(c)(3).) Dated: December 4, 2015
Respectfully submitted, LATHAM & WATKINS LLP James L. Arnone Winston P. Stromberg Jennifer K. Roy
By: s/ Jennifer K. Roy Jennifer K. Roy Attorneys for Altus Institute Network of Chartered Schools LA\4331011