Davina Harden represents California public school districts in all aspects of education and employment law. She has broad expertise in all matters related to charter schools, is a recognized leader throughout California in the field, and has been advising school districts and county offices of education on the full array of charter school matters almost since the inception of the Charter Schools Act.
Ms. Harden works closely with boards and senior administrators at school districts and county offices of education on a full range of issues pertaining to the Charter Schools Act, such as analyzing charter petition submittals and negotiating revisions to charter petitions; developing written factual findings and resolutions for action on charter petitions; developing memoranda of understanding and operational agreements with charter operators, overseeing the creation of dependent charter schools; responding to Proposition 39 facilities requests; managing CDE compliance complaints; and advising in renewal, revocation, and administrative and judicial appeal processes. A leader in the field, Ms. Harden has successfully represented charter school clients in a number of highly complex matters, including representing the districts with the only two “Parent Trigger” charter schools in the state. Additionally, she is a highly sought-after presenter at charter school conferences and events as well as state-wide conferences including CSBA and CLSBA, where she speaks on a variety of issues concerning charter authorizers and related parties.
Beyond her work on charter schools, Ms. Harden regularly conducts investigations into allegations of employee/student wrongdoing on behalf of employers and public entities and advises employers and agencies on the conduct of their own investigations. Other areas of focus include public governance issues, conflicts of interest, the Brown Act, student rights and discipline, public employee rights, employment discrimination and sexual harassment, and transactional matters, including negotiating, drafting, and reviewing agreements.
News & Publications
Events & Speaking Engagements
Ms. Harden has presented seminars and workshops to numerous school districts and organizations in California regarding charter schools, sexual harassment laws, student discipline, student attendance options, conflicts of interest, and other current legal issues.
Alerts & Articles
- Willful Defiance Suspensions Ban Expanded to Include Grades 4-8 Students In Favor of Restorative Justice Alternatives09.12.2019
- Court Holds that Charter Renewal Petitions Denied by School Districts Must be “Supported by Evidence,” Finding also that Charter Schools Have a “Vested Right” Once Approved07.23.2019
- Charter Schools Must Comply with the Brown Act, Public Records Act, Government Code Section 1090, and the Political Reform Act, and are Subject to Grand Jury Review01.08.2019
Ms. Harden is a frequent contributor to the firm's publications.
- EdLawConnect Blog, 05.09.2016
Community & Professional
- American Bar Association, Member
- Orange County Bar Association, Member