An Orange County Superior Court judge Thursday issued a preliminary injunction blocking the Santa Ana Unified School District from withholding $500,000 monthly to the Orange County School of the Arts to collect on what district officials claim is $19 million in back payments for special education services.
Orange County Superior Court Judge David Hoffer said in his ruling that the school stands to be “irreparably harmed” by exhausting its reserves by November without the funding from the district.
The district, in contrast, has not shown that it would be substantially harmed by not receiving the special education money as “it had evidently failed to demand any such payments for the prior 17 years,” Hoffman wrote.
The judge said the school also stands to prevail at trial as well because the school’s charter makes it clear the district had to give it a 15-month notice if it would try to collect the special education services expenses.
A message left with the school district was not immediately returned.
District officials have also threatened to collect the money for services from the other charter schools in the district, but that prompted the other charter schools to threaten to seek their own restraining orders.
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