Courts Intervene to Keep Charter Schools Operating Pending Appeals of Revocation Cases
September 11, 2014
Several charter schools have recently succeeded in convincing courts to intervene in the charter renewal and revocation process despite the fact that these charter schools have not exhausted their administrative appeals through county boards of education and the State Board of Education before seeking such court action. This trend could severely hamper a school district’s ability to oversee and revoke charter petitions when necessary.
For example, as reported in CNB No. 34, during the 2013-2014 school year three charter schools operating under the American Indian Model Schools (AIMS) charter organization had their charters revoked by the Oakland Unified School District for the alleged fiscal mismanagement of millions of dollars. While the district’s decision to revoke the charters was pending in the administrative appeals process, AIMS went to court and obtained a restraining order prohibiting the closure of the schools. AIMS ultimately convinced the court to overturn the district’s decision to revoke the charters because the district did not make the required findings of fact regarding academic achievement. All three AIMS schools currently remain open.
Similarly, the Los Angeles Unified School District decided not to renew the charters of two schools operated under the Magnolia Educational and Research Foundation (Magnolia) because Magnolia was alleged to be in financial dire straits. Magnolia sought, and obtained, a court’s temporary restraining order that has kept these schools open because the district’s decision not to renew was allegedly made improperly. This matter is still pending before the court. Like the situation with AIMS, the court inserted itself into the administrative appeals process before that process could run its course.
Lozano Smith is monitoring this trend and will continue to provide updates on the status of the law on charter petition revocation and renewal.
If you have any questions regarding this issue, please contact one of our eight offices located statewide. You can also visit our website, follow us on Facebook or Twitter, or download our Client News Brief App.
Other 2014 Back to School Client News Briefs
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As the information contained herein is necessarily general, its application to a particular set of facts and circumstances may vary. For this reason, this News Brief does not constitute legal advice. We recommend that you consult with your counsel prior to acting on the information contained herein.