Megan Macy is the Managing Partner of Lozano Smith's Sacramento office and an active member of the Facilities and Business, Labor and Employment and Charter Schools Practice Groups.
Ms. Macy provides general counsel to school districts and special districts with a focus on fire protection districts, routinely advising clients on the Brown Act, Public Records Act, conflict of interest issues and development of governing board policies. Her primary goal is to assist educational agencies in maximizing their limited resources through risk management, preventative legal services and effective planning.
Ms. Macy utilizes her litigation background to counsel clients on effective risk management strategies in the facilities and business arena, including public bidding issues, real property transactions and negotiation of school facilities agreements related to new residential development. Those skills are also invaluable in handling the array of labor and employment issues school districts routinely encounter, from employee discipline issues to labor disputes.
Ms. Macy is an expert in charter school law, having advised school districts on the full array of charter school issues, including petition review, denial and appeal, Prop. 39 requests and other facilities use issues, charter school formation and revocation. Her general counsel experience pairs well in this arena, offering clients a broad understanding of employment, student and governance issues that must be scrutinized during the charter approval and administration process.
Ms. Macy is an accomplished speaker presenting at various events including the California School Boards Association (CSBA), the California Association of School Business Officials (CASBO), the Coalition for Adequate School Housing (CASH), the Small School Districts Association (SSDA) and Lozano Smith's Facilities and Business workshops on various topics ranging from school closure to developer fees to construction.
Ms. Macy earned her law degree from the University of Oregon School of Law. She attended the Alternative Dispute Resolution Program to be a certified mediator for Lane County Small Claims Court, and served as chief justice at the University of Oregon Constitution Court. Ms. Macy earned her B.A. in public policy and religion from Washington and Lee University, and she completed the Shepherd Program for the Interdisciplinary Study of Poverty.
The State Board of Education (State Board) recently approved Policy No. 17-01 (Policy), which permits the board to issue temporary waivers to nonclassroom-based charter schools operating "resource centers" outside the geographical boundaries of their chartering school district. The State Board's decision comes on the heels of a closely watched charter school decision, Anderson Union High School District v. Shasta Secondary Home School (2016) 4 Cal.App.5th 262 (Ander...
The Third District Court of Appeal’s decision in Anderson Union High School District v. Shasta Secondary Home School (2016) 4 Cal.App.5th 262 (Anderson) is now binding law in California. Following successful legal argument by Lozano Smith, the court, on October 17, 2016, confirmed that the geographic and site limitations of the Charter Schools Act (Act) are applicable to all charter schools, including “nonclassroom-based” programs. On January 18, ...
In a case watched closely by the charter school community - including school districts, county offices of education and charter operators - California's Third District Court of Appeal has issued an opinion which holds that the geographic and site limitations of the Charter Schools Act (Ed. Code, § 47600 et seq.) are applicable to all charter schools, including "nonclassroom-based" programs. (Anderson Union High School District v. Shasta Secondary Home School (O...
Last month, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) confirmed that in limited circumstances, schools may make robocalls to their student community without violating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). The FCC determined that schools could "lawfully make robocalls or send automated texts to student family wireless phones pursuant to an 'emergency purpose' exception or with prior express consent."
The ruling provides much-needed guidance for schools...
A recent court decision has again opened the door for eligible school districts to impose 'Level 3' developer fees. As Lozano Smith previously reported, the State Allocation Board (SAB) took unprecedented action in May to authorize eligible school districts to collect Level 3 fees. SAB's determination that state funds are no longer available for new school construction, which triggers the Level 3 fees, was challenged in court by the California Building Industry Assoc...
In May 2016, the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and U.S. Department of Justice's (DOJ) issued joint guidance regarding transgender student rights, sparking nationwide media coverage and a surge in lawsuits related to the guidance, as if it was the first time this issue had ever been breached on a local, state or federal level. To the contrary, and especially in California, the statutory framework regarding transgender student rights have been in place for several...
Lozano Smith Alert
As Lozano Smith reported yesterday, the State Allocation Board (SAB) took unprecedented action this week authorizing eligible school districts to collect ‘Level 3’ developer fees. The litigation that was threatened and that was mentioned in our client news brief has become a reality. On the same day that SAB approved Level 3 fees, the California Building Industry Association (CBIA) filed a Petition for Writ of Mandate in Sacramento County Superior Court....
*** Update: May 27, 2016***
The litigation that was threatened and that was mentioned in the below client news brief has become a reality. Details here.
The State Allocation Board (SAB) has taken the unprecedented step of determining that state funding is no longer available for apportionment for school facilities, triggering some school districts’ eligibility to collect higher ‘Level 3’ fees for the first time ever.
The Board’s historic May 25 decision ...
In a unanimous decision, the California Supreme Court recently issued a ruling that extends the scope of design immunity for public agencies. Hampton v. County of San Diego (Dec. 10, 2015, S213132) 2015 Cal.Lexis 9854 (Hampton) clarifies that a public agency need not necessarily show that an employee approving a public works project followed, or was even aware of, applicable design standards to claim immunity. However, such an inquiry is still relevant in deciding ...
New legislation will impact public works projects for local public agencies, including cities, school districts, and counties. In light of these changes, public agencies will want to closely review their public works bidding and construction documents to ensure they are updated in accordance with these new laws.
Liquidated Damages - Government Code section 53069.85 currently allows liquidated damage provisions in local agency public works contracts to compensa...
Lease-leasebacks and Conflict of Interest...
In a closely watched case, the California Supreme Court has denied petitions for review of the opinion in Davis v. Fresno Unified School District (June 1, 2015) case no. F068477 (5th App. Dist.). The Court has also denied requests for depublication of the case by the school district and various statewide organizations interested in the outcome. This means that a lawsuit will be allowed to proceed against a particular lease-leaseback arrangement that is similar to man...
February 2015Number 10In light of a recent court of appeal decision, all public agencies are cautioned to examine carefully their retention practices at project closeout. The court in FTR International, Inc. v. Rio School Dist. (Jan. 27, 2015) 2015 Cal.App.Lexis 68, concluded that a dispute over the contract price does not entitle a public agency to withhold funds due to the prime contractor. In the event of a dispute, a public entity may only withhold funds from retention as security against...
The Legislature recently amended the law to permit the consumption of alcoholic beverages at facilities owned and operated by various educational agencies, including school districts and community college districts. This change provides additional latitude for educational agencies to make their facilities available to community groups and individuals for fundraising and other private events that could provide additional revenue. Permitting the consumption of alcoho...
In June 2012, the Legislature suspended school districts' ability to levy "Level 3" developer fees. This suspension would be lifted if, by August 31, 2014, a statewide facilities bond was not placed on the ballot for the November 4th general election. As a statewide facilities bond was not placed on the ballot, the suspension on collecting Level 3 fees was lifted on September 1, 2014. Despite anticipation that a further extension of the suspension of Level 3 fees ...
When is a defect in a low bidder's paperwork too significant for the public entity owner to waive? The Court of Appeal recently added another piece in the patchwork quilt of law addressing this seemingly simple, but sometimes difficult, question. The court concluded that a public agency may waive the omission of a single page of a bid package if exclusion of the page did not affect the bid amount or provide the bidder an advantage.
In Bay Cities Paving & Gradin...
Recent changes to the Labor Code make wide-ranging adjustments to the procedures by which prevailing wage violations are investigated and enforced. Two bills recently signed by Governor Brown, Assembly Bill (AB) 1336 and Senate Bill (SB) 377, amend portions of the Labor Code associated with assessments and actions related to prevailing wages, the production of payroll records and public works project determinations.
These changes extend and toll the time for the ...
Adding to the complexity of shepherding a project through public bidding, school districts will soon be required to prequalify bidders on many projects. Lozano Smith has prepared the tools to navigate the impact of this new law. More details and additional guidelines on prequalification rules will be discussed during Lozano Smith's free webinar on Thursday, September 19, 2013 at 10:00 a.m.
School districts with an average daily attendance of 2,500 or more award...
A recent court decision provides authority for public agencies to commence an eminent domain proceeding, in some circumstances, prior to completion of environmental review under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). In Golden Gate Land Holdings, LLC. v. East Bay Regional Park District (April 12, 2013) __ Cal.App.4th __ (2013 WL 1491547) ("Golden Gate Land Holdings"),the Court of Appeal for the First Appellate District held that a park district had improperl...
Beginning January 1, 2013, the "academic achievement" of a charter school's students will be the most important factor chartering authorities must consider when renewing or revoking a charter. Senate Bill (SB) 1290 amends various provisions of the Education Code to require chartering authorities, including school districts and county offices of education, to place greater weight on the minimum academic achievement of the charter school's pupils, and their significant ...
New legislation that became effective on June 27, 2012, gives charter schools interested in surplus school district real property priority to buy or lease such property. Senate Bill (SB) 1016 requires school districts seeking to sell or lease surplus property to offer that property first to any charter school that has submitted a written request to be notified of surplus property offered for sale or lease by the school district. Such offers are required for any propert...
On January 25, 2012, the State Allocation Board (SAB) approved a substantial inflationary increase applicable to "Level 1" developer fees. Based on application of the Marshall & Swift Eight California Cities Index for construction costs, SAB adjusted the Level 1 fee to $3.20 per square foot for residential development and $.51 for commercial development. Pursuant to Government Code section 65995, the fee may be increased in every even year. Because there was no ...
The State Board of Education (SBE) recently approved implementing regulations for Education Code section 47607, effective December 16, 2011, setting forth a detailed process for school districts and county offices of education authorizing charter schools ("Authorities") to follow when revoking a charter. Additionally, the regulations set forth an expedited process when there is a severe and imminent threat to the health or safety of pupils and detail the appeal pro...
A recent case has highlighted the need for public agency owners to review the terms of any performance bond for a construction project to guard against the risk that a contractor or surety may be able to successfully pursue attorneys' fees for disputes implicating the bond - even where the underlying construction contract does not allow for attorneys' fees. In Mepco Services, Inc. v. Saddleback Valley Unified School District (2010) 189 Cal.App.4th 1027, the Court aw...