Edward J. Sklar is the Managing Partner of Lozano Smith's Walnut Creek office. Mr. Sklar advises school districts on managing California's charter school landscape, serving as co-chair of the firm's Charter School Practice Group. He is an authority on all aspects of a public school district's obligations to comply with California's Charter Schools Act, including charter oversight, facilities, petition review and revocation. Mr. Sklar also provides guidance to school districts that want to establish their own "dependent" charter schools.
Mr. Sklar also advises school districts on all legal issues that arise in the routine course of educating students. This includes matters of student discipline, residency, student records, civil rights, and compliance with state and federal education reform measures. He has extensive experience advising clients on compliance with the Brown Act and the Public Records Act.
Mr. Sklar has provided training and conducted seminars on a number of topics for multiple organizations. They include the California School Boards Association (CSBA), National School Boards Association (NSBA), Coalition for Adequate School Housing (CASH) annual conference, CASH Leadership Academy, Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) annual conference, ACSA Superintendent Symposium, and California Association of Supervisors of Child Welfare and Attendance (CASCWA) conference.
Prior to joining Lozano Smith, Mr. Sklar practiced civil litigation at Lewis, D'Amato, Brisbois & Bisgaard, LLP, and Cesari, Werner & Moriarty, both in San Francisco. The fast-paced practice of litigation provided the training ground for his vast experience in settlement negotiations and his advocacy skills in courtrooms and administrative hearings.
Mr. Sklar received his J.D. from the University of San Francisco School of Law and his B.A. from Rutgers University.
The California Attorney General recently issued a long-awaited opinion addressing the applicability of certain "sunshine" laws to charter schools. Specifically, the Attorney General concluded that California charter schools and their governing bodies are subject to the Ralph M. Brown Act (Brown Act), the California Public Records Act (Public Records Act), Government Code section 1090 and the Political Reform act of 1974. The opinion further states that the books and ...
Governor Jerry Brown recently signed several bills into law that impact student instruction for public schools. Senate Bill (SB) 830 and Assembly Bills (AB) 2015 and 2239 relate to media literacy, instruction regarding the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the California Dream Act Application, and the addition of courses to the "A-G" course list.
Recognizing the influence of social media and the proliferation of false news stories, ...
Assembly Bills (AB) 2121 and 2735 will make it easier for migrant students and English learners to access courses in core curriculum subjects and obtain course credit necessary for graduation. Both bills were signed by Governor Jerry Brown in September 2018. AB 2121 will become effective on January 1, 2019, while AB 2735 will take effect at the beginning of the 2019-2020 school year.
Existing law requires schools to ensure that students with limited E...
The Legislature has expanded requirements for charter schools in 2019. Assembly Bill (AB) 1871 will require charter schools to provide meals to needy students, while AB 2601 will require charters to provide sexual health education to students in grades 7-12.
Assembly Bill 1871
Starting on July 1, 2019, AB 1871 will require California charter schools to provide needy students with one nutritionally adequate free or reduced price meal each day. Charter schools were pre...
Community college districts are generally immune from liability for injuries sustained in the course of field trips and excursions under the California Code of Regulations, title 5, section 55220. However, in Anselmo v. Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District, an appellate court determined that such immunity does not apply to an injury sustained during an intercollegiate athletic tournament.
In this case, a community college hosted an intercoll...
A California appellate court has published a decision affirming that charter schools must obtain separate approvals for new initial petitions, charter renewals, and material revisions to charter school petitions. InToday's Fresh Start Charter School v. Inglewood Unified School District, et al. (Feb. 7, 2018, Case No. B280986) ___ Cal.App.5th ___, the Second District Court of Appeal issued a published decision, concluding that:
(1) Charter schools may not use a renewal p...
A new law aims to ensure equal access for students seeking to enroll in charter schools and to end the practice of dismissing, or "counseling out," charter school students without due process. Assembly Bill (AB) 1360 takes effect on January 1, 2018.
The bill gives charter authorizers a new tool for ensuring that charters do not engage in discriminatory admissions practices and provides students more due process during disciplinary proceedings. A description of th...
Commonly referred to as "Prop. 39," Education Code section 47614 requires that, in certain circumstances, school districts must provide facilities to charter schools. Pursuant to Prop. 39, charter schools must request facilities for the 2018-2019 school year, in writing, by November 1, 2017. Because Prop. 39 triggers certain obligations for a school district, it is best to be prepared for the upcoming facilities request season.
A charter school's timely faciliti...
A California Court of Appeal has held that a county board of education may not grant exemptions from zoning ordinances under Government Code section 53094. ( San Jose Unified School District v. Santa Clara County Office of Education (Jan 24, 2017, No. H041088) ___ Cal.App.5th ___ < http://www.courts. ca.gov/opinions/documents/H041088.PDF >.) Specifically, county boards may not exempt the charter schools they authorize from zoning ordinances. School districts ...
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...
On September 30, 2016, Governor Jerry Brown vetoed Assembly Bill (AB) 709, which would have expressly required California charter schools to comply with the same transparency and conflict of interest requirements as traditional public school districts.
With recent reports of mismanagement by charter school governing boards across the state, there is constant discussion as to which conflict of interest and transparency laws apply to charter schools. AB 709 specifically...
The U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education (OCTAE) issued a joint "Dear Colleague" letter on June 15, 2016 providing "significant guidance" on how to ensure gender equality in Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs.
The guidance was prompted by data indicating persistent underrepresentation of men and women in fields considered "non-traditional" for their gender (i.e., underrepresentation of...