Fair Education dropped charges against SB Unified
Fair Education dropped its original discrimination charges against Santa Barbara Unified School District and Just Communities Central Coast, Inc., on Friday. It claimed the curriculum taught by JCCC in SBUSD schools is anti-white, anti-Christian and anti-male.
It was the last remaining charge that hadn’t been dismissed.
A hearing was scheduled for October 6, but now Fair Education has dropped its complaint with prejudice — meaning the complaint can’t be refiled. Lawyer for SBUSD Craig Price said the move is like giving up.
“We were quite confident that we would win if we proceeded to a hearing,” he said. “It would have been challenging for them to find anyone that would provide evidence and overcome our expert witness.”
Peter Scott, a lawyer assisting Eric Early in representing Fair Education, said the dismissal wasn’t a white flag. It was a means to pursue an appeal of a previous charge.
Fair Education complained that SBUSD shouldn’t have hired JCCC but should have opened the contract for public bids. Mr. Scott says the contract was costly, whereas other providers could do the training for free.
In July, the Santa Barbara Superior Court issued a 50-page opinion dismissing the bidding claim. This means the district had a right to hire who they thought was best suited for the instruction.
Fair Education plans to appeal this opinion as soon as possible, Mr. Scott said.
“The case is not over. It’s over at the trial level but is much alive at the appeal level,” he said. “It’s a case ripe for adjudication by the court of appeals.”
He says they can’t appeal the bidding issue until all other charges have been closed, and that’s the main reason they dropped the discrimination charge. Plus, the district’s contract with JCCC expired in June.
Mr. Price says the district decided not to renew the contract because it would be hard to pursue the training with COVID-19 restrictions.
The case has cost the district $300k in legal fees. Fair Education received legal counsel at a “substantially discounted” rate, Mr. Scott said.
“Everyone has the same goal of giving the kids a world-class education,” he said. Fair Education hopes to partner with the district.
“I know that the district is very pleased to have this be resolved in hopes that it will result in better collaboration among all of the parents of the district in participating and benefiting in all the benefits they receive from implicit bias training,” Mr. Price said.Fair Education was formed after parents and community members saw the JCCC curriculum and raised concern of discrimination. It displays litigation documents on its website.