Failure to Secure a Suitable Facility for a Charter School

In Brackbill v. Ron Brown Charter Sch., 777 A.2d 131 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2001), the proposed site and alternative site listed in the revised application were no longer available to the charter school because of the school district's delay. The Charter School Appeal Board (CAB), nonetheless, issued an order directing the school district to grant the revised application and sign the charter, and required the charter school applicant to provide the district and CAB with information regarding the facility to be used prior to the opening of the charter school. On appeal, the district argued that CAB's order was contrary to public policy because it would allow an applicant to wait until after an application was approved before proposing a location. Id., 777 A.2d at 138-39. In affirming CAB's order, this Court held that "any loss of authority to react in the first instance to the proposed facility was a deprivation of the district's own making." Id. at 139. The applicant complied with the CSL, and it was the district, through delay caused by its own inaction, which caused the applicant's loss of rights in the two proposed facilities. Id. The Court held it was "unreasonable to expect an applicant to maintain rights in the precise vacant property listed in an application for the period which it has taken for the revised application to wend its way from the District Board to the CAB to this court." Id. The Court emphasized that implicit in CAB's grant of the charter was a requirement that a suitable facility be secured, and that failure to do so would be grounds for termination of the charter. Id. at 139 n.8.