Margaret A. Chidester

  • Adjunct Professor

Research Concentration

  • K-12 Education Policy
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Margaret Chidester, EdD has served as an Adjunct Professor in the USC Rossier School of Education’s Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership program since 1995. She has taught Accountability, Human Resources, Policies and Politics of Educational Governance, Post-Secondary Education Law and K–12 Education Law in USC Rossier cohorts on USC’s main campus, the Orange County campus, and in the San Diego, Fresno, San Luis Obispo, Redding, Sacramento and Lincoln, Nebraska cohorts. She has also contributed to the USC Rossier School of Education’s Business Management Certificate Program curriculum.

A former bilingual primary teacher and longtime education law attorney, she operates the Orange County-based Law Offices of Margaret Chidester and Associates, serving as general counsel, labor negotiator and legal expert in human resources, school district governance, constitutional issues of pupil rights and speech, and collective bargaining to over 40 school districts, charter schools, ROPs, private schools and personnel commissions. She is a member of the USC Rossier School of Education’s Board of Councilors, the past chairman of the National School Boards Association’s Council of School Attorneys, and a regular presenter at conferences and trainings for school administrators and school attorneys including the Association of California School Administrators Superintendents’ Academy (ACSA), the School Employers Association of California, and the California and National Councils of School Attorneys.

She is a graduate of the University of San Diego School of Law (JD), USC Rossier School of Education (EdD, Educational Leadership and dissertation award), and San Diego State University (MA).


Professional Affiliations and Memberships

Dr. Chidester’s advocacy and litigation experience on behalf of public schools before trial and appellate courts, the Public Employment Relations Board, the California Department of Education, arbitrators, factfinding panels, and Commissions on Professional Competence includes published appellate case law on  employee remediation and discipline matters, pupil rights, superintendent contracts and employment, charter school petitions, governance, review, and revocation, and collective bargaining matters through negotiations, impasse, mediation, factfinding, post-factfinding negotiations, strike, and unilateral implementation, as evidenced by the following decisions:

Newport-Mesa Unified School District v. Hubert (1982) 132 Cal.App.3d 724, 183 Cal.Rptr. 334;

Gardner v. Commission on Professional Competence, Board of Education of the Tustin Unified School District (1985) 164 Cal.App.3d 1035, 210 Cal.Rptr. 795;

El Camino Community College District v. Superior Court (1985) 173 Cal.App.3d 606, 219 Cal.Rptr. 236;

Jones v. Palm Springs Unified School District (1985) 170 Cal.App.3d 521, 216 Cal.Rptr. 75;

Bassett Unified School District v. Commission on Professional Competence (1988) 201 Cal.App.3d 1444, 247 Cal.Rptr. 865;

Choice-In-Education League v. Los Angeles Unified School District (1993) 17 Cal.App.4th 415, 21 Cal.Rptr.2d 303

(Amici Curiae for Education Legal Alliance for the Los Angeles Unified School District);

Gallup v. Alta Loma School District Board of Trustees (1996) 41 Cal.App.4th 1571, 49 Cal.Rptr.2d 289;

Summerfield v. Windsor Unified School District

(2002) 95 Cal.App.4th 1026, 116 Cal.Rptr.2d 233 (Amici Curiae for the Education Legal Alliance);

Culbertson v. San Gabriel Unified School District

(2004) 121 Cal.App.4th 1392, review denied 2004 Cal. Lexis

(Amici Curiae for the Education Legal Alliance);

Bakersfield Elementary Teachers Association v. Bakersfield City School District (2006) 145 Cal.App.4th 1260 (Amici Curiae for the Education Legal Alliance);

Corales, et al., v. Bennett, et al. Ninth Circuit Case No: 07-55892, D.C. No. CV-06-00849-SGL;

North Orange County Regional Occupational Program v. Regional Occupational Program Educational Association of North Orange County CTA/NEA - PERB Decision No. 857;

Temple City Educators Association CTA/NEA v. Temple City USD - PERB Decision No. 1972;

Castaic Union School District v. California School Employees Association, Chapter 401 - PERB Order No. Ad-384; and

Scott B. v. Board of Trustees of Orange County High School of the Arts (2013) 217 Cal.App.4th 117.