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School Board 'Capriciously And Arbitrarily' Rescinded Charter School Agreement

School Lane Charter School claims that the Neshaminy School Board "capriciously and arbitrarily" rescinded its charter.

The Neshaminy School Board's decision to has left at least 350 children in academic limbo, according to charter school officials.

According to a press release issued by the charter school, the Neshaminy School Board "capriciously and arbitrarily" rescinded the charter without providing School Lane Charter School with any notice that the action was scheduled to take place.

The school board "erroneously claimed as reason for its vote that School Lane Charter School-Neshaminy rejected the terms of its charter" -- a claim the charter school officials said is untrue in the release.

School Lane Charter School claims that the school board "violated the terms of the charter by adding conditions after it was approved in July," and that the board did so outside of public view. Those additional conditions included requiring the charter school to lease or purchase the old Eisenhouse Elementary School on Woodbourne Road in Middletown and limiting the number of students who could attend the charter school with enrollment caps.

"Making the charter conditional upon the renting of this building was illegal to begin with, based on the precedent set by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling in the Collegium Charter School case," as stated in the release.

According to the release, the school board placed illegal conditions upon how the charter school may or may not classify special education students in the initial charter agreement. The Pennsylvania Department of Education has overturned these conditions, but the charter school is also claiming that the school district has ignored directives and deadlines from state officials.

The charter school was scheduled to open its doors in August 2012, which required several months to prepare the builing. But, according to the relesae, the school district failed to give the building's current tenant, the Delta Schol, a 12-month notice to vacate the premises.

"As recently as October 19, the school district had not yet notified the Delta School that its lease had been terminated, which would have prohibited School Lane Charter School-Neshaminy from opening as scheduled for the 2012-2013 school year," as stated in the release.

The Delta School's current least expires in 2014 and "continues to have the first right of refusal to purchase the building should the district wish to sell the property."

According to the charter school, these conditions forced School Lane Charter School-Neshaminy to search for another location as an alternative solution in order to begin serving students during the 2012-2013 school year.

Despite all of this, the School Lane Charter School "remains committed to the hundreds of Neshaminy families who wish to provide their children what they believe is their best public school choice, and is exploring its legal options to overturn the board’s vote."

School Lane officials are confident that the law is on their side and the charter school's administrators "remain hopeful, however, that the Neshaminy School Board will reverse its decision and instead act in the best interests of the taxpayers, and more importantly, the children who have pre-enrolled in School Lane Charter School-Neshaminy."

FedUpwithNFT October 27, 2011 at 04:06 PM
Couldn't agree more with this headline! Why would the board force SLC to lease a building, evicting a tenant with a lease through 2014? Something's wrong here on the part of the board
Jane694 October 27, 2011 at 04:38 PM
Listen NSB...I've been behind you 100% when it comes to the situation with the NFT. But this crosses the line. Give our kids an alternative and facilitate this school opening as planned.
Cooby Hoober October 27, 2011 at 04:48 PM
I don't like to get involved in local politics, and usually don't comment, but it seems the NSB has really gotten this one wrong. I wonder if they rescinded due to the change in PA law that no longer requires the Dept. Of Ed to give a % of funds to the hosting district. They can't deny the charter based on $$$ so they are coming up with lame excuses. I truly hope School Lane appeals. I am behind them all the way.
Ginette October 27, 2011 at 06:29 PM
The longer I live the more nothing surprises me. Dear School Lane community; I'm so sorry to hear this news. The good fight is always worth it in the end.
Mike Caputo October 29, 2011 at 01:58 PM
They will overcome in the end, but why is our school board so adamant?

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