State Board of Education Rejects California Department of Education Recommendation to Undermine Charter Appeal

Sacramento, CA – The State Board of Education (SBE) today declined to take action on the California Department of Education’s (CDE) recommendation to reverse its prior decision on the appeal of the denial of the Mayacamas Charter School charter petition by both the Napa Unified School District and Napa County Board of Education. The decision presumably should allow the school to move forward with its opening this fall, pending ongoing litigation in this hotly contested and precedent-setting case.

Charter school supporters have been closely watching this issue because the appeal is among the first few related to the new “abuse of discretion” standard. This standard was established by AB 1505 (2019). AB 1505 was an omnibus anti-charter bill that substantially amended provisions of the Charter Schools Act, including the rules for starting new schools.


The Napa Unified School District and Napa County Board of Education both denied the petition to establish Mayacamas Charter Middle School last year.

The opposition by the Napa Unified District staff was especially virulent and so egregious that it appeared to offend the sensibilities of SBE members and other observers. The Napa County Board also denied the petition despite a positive staff review. The Napa County Board failed to make...

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