Sukhi Ahluwalia represents charter authorizers and public sector clients in all phases of civil litigation and alternative dispute resolution. Ms. Ahluwalia has been working with charter authorizers since the early years of the Charter Schools Act and is a recognized thought leader and authority in the field. She is a highly sought-after speaker and has presented at a number of charter schools conferences on complex charter issues.
As the chair of the firm’s charter school group, she has handled many successful appeals at the county and state levels and regularly advises clients on a variety of day-to-day operational, funding, and regulatory issues facing charter authorizers, including governance and school policies, charter school relations, student privacy, pupil fees, admissions, and more. Other work within her scope of expertise includes reviewing and analyzing charter petitions, managing CDE compliance complaints, conducting investigations, avoiding conflicts of interest, and handling cases involving student discipline, rights, and oversight compliance. She has handled numerous revocations and non-renewals and successfully defended a school board’s decision to non-renew a charter for lack of adequate academic progress on appeal to the State Board of Education. She has represented the only two districts that authorized “Parent Trigger” charter schools in the state.
In addition to her broad expertise in charter school matters, Ms. Ahluwalia also represents clients in a number of different education-focused areas, including student rights and discipline, public employee rights, conflicts of interest, employment discrimination and sexual harassment, and transactional matters, including negotiating, drafting, and reviewing agreements. A leader in education law, Ms. Ahluwalia works closely with school boards, both as general counsel and adviser on a variety of topics, including conduct of public meetings, conflict of interest issues, and responses to Public Records Act requests. She regularly conducts investigations into allegations of employee wrongdoing on behalf of employers, and advises employers on the conduct of their own investigations.
Ms. Ahluwalia formerly worked as in-house counsel at Southern California Edison, representing the company in all facets of labor and employment law. She has also served as Assistant City Attorney for the City of Pasadena.
News & Publications
Events & Speaking Engagements
Ms. Ahluwalia has provided seminars and training to many entities and professional associations including CSBA, CARSnet, NALEO, CLSBA, CCBE on topics such as charter petition review, responsibilities of a charter authorizer, preventing discrimination, retaliation, harassment, conducting disciplinary investigations, responding to EEOC and DFEH complaints, and imposing employee discipline.
Alerts & Articles
- California Attorney General Declares That Charter School Employees May Not Serve on a County Board of Education in the County Where Their Employing School Is Located11.09.2021
- 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
Community & Professional
- Board Member of the Lotus Petal Foundation
- South Asian Bar Association, Member
- CARSnet, Member
- National Charter Authorizers Association, Member