Proposition 39 California Charter Schools

In adopting Proposition 39, the voters of California expressed the intent "that public school facilities should be shared fairly among all public school pupils, including those in charter schools." ( 47614, subd. (a), ) Proposition 39 amended section 47614 to provide, in relevant part, that "each school district shall make available, to each charter school operating in the school district, facilities sufficient for the charter school to accommodate all of the charter school's in-district students in conditions reasonably equivalent to those in which the students would be accommodated if they were attending other public schools of the district. Facilities provided shall be contiguous, furnished, and equipped, and shall remain the property of the school district." ( 47614, subd. (b).) The terms "furnished" and "equipped" are not defined by section 47614. Section 47614, subdivision (b)(6), expressly authorizes the State Board to adopt "regulations implementing this subdivision, including but not limited to defining the terms ... ." The School District Associations claim the definition of "furnished" and "equipped" adopted by the State Board in Regulations, section 11969.2(e) is inconsistent with Proposition 39. Relying on the principle of statutory construction that terms within a statute or within the same act possess a consistent meaning (People v. Standish (2006) 38 Cal.4th 858, 870 43 Cal. Rptr. 3d 785, 135 P.3d 32; People v. Roberge (2003) 29 Cal.4th 979, 987 129 Cal. Rptr. 2d 861, 62 P.3d 97; People v. Contreras (1997) 55 Cal.App.4th 760, 764 64 Cal. Rptr. 2d 233), the School District Associations argue equipment must be defined as property of a permanent nature, which they argue the Legislature has defined in another Education Code statute as property with a useful life of at least 20 years ( 15100, subds. (e) & (i)), not as property with a life of a year and a day as defined by Regulations, section 11969.2(e) (equipment is property that is not "consumed immediately (e.g., within one year) by use").