Court denies preliminary injunction filed in connection with BCSD summer school plan

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BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A preliminary injunction filed against the Bakersfield City School District over its modified summer learning program has been denied.

The injunction was rejected in a ruling by Superior Court Judge J. Eric Bradshaw, who found the district acted within the law and the injunction was without merit. 

In his May 14 ruling, Bradshaw states, “The legislature has given local school boards discretion to respond to changing circumstances, and case law imposes strict limits on a court’s power to control how an administrative agency exercises its discretion.

“Ordering BCSD to adhere to a plan that BCSD has now determined is not in BCSD’s best interest would likely have negative consequences that this Court does not appreciate, but that BCSD sees quite clearly.”

BCSD initally planned to cut its summer school program entirely, citing its $1.6 million cost, but later said it would offer 20 days of school at four sites, funded through a state grant. The district will also offer an extended summer learning program for special education and migrant students. 

A claim – a precursor to a lawsuit – was filed April 29 on behalf of two students by California Rural Legal Assistance (CRLA), Greater Bakersfield Legal Assistance (GBLA) and Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights (LCCR). They argued the district should have consulted parents, teachers and students before altering the program. 

A district news release Thursday noted the judge, in denying the injunction, found the claim failed to show irreparable harm to the students, plus it was premature because the petitioners failed to complete required procedures that are ongoing before BCSD regarding the issue.

GBLA attorney Lyndsi Andreas said the lawsuit is ongoing as is the administrative process. She said the denial of the injunction means the district’s altered plan will take place this summer as the district intended, but she hopes to prevail in the overall suit. 

The district’s release said, “BCSD, through its attorneys, will vigorously defend against CRLA, GBLA, and LCCR’s meritless lawsuit and will seek all available legal remedies, including recovery of legal fees and costs incurred, as a result of these frivolous complaints.”

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