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School District of Philadelphia v. Dep't of Education

Supreme Court of Pennsylvania

May 27, 2014

THE SCHOOL DISTRICT OF PHILADELPHIA, Appellant
v.
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, Appellee, THE WALTER D. PALMER LEADERSHIP LEARNING PARTNERS CHARTER SCHOOL, Intervenor

Argued: March 11, 2014.

Appeal from the Order of Commonwealth Court entered on April 3,2012 at No. 360 CD 2011, 41 A.3d 222 affirming the Order of the Department of Education entered on March 4, 2011 at No. EDU-2010-SLAP-01373889. Appeal allowed June 7, 2013 at 216 EAL 2012. Intermediate Court Dan Pellegrini, President Judge, Bonnie Brigance Leadbetter, Renee Cohn Jubelirer, Robert E. Simpson, Kevin P. Brobson, Patricia A. McCullough, Anne E. Covey, JJ.

For Education Law Center, AMICUS CURIAE: David Bradford Lapp, Esq.

For Chester Community Charter School, AMICUS CURIAE: Michael Elmer Peters, Esq., Michael Joseph Savona, Esq.

For Walter D. Palmer Leadership Learning Partners Charter Shcool, INTERVENOR: Matthew Hermann Haverstick, Esq., Mark Edward Seiberling, Esq.

For School District of Philadelphia, APPELLANT: Paul Joseph Cianci, Esq.; Joseph John Langkamer, Esq., Deena Jo Schneider, Esq., Carl A. Solano Esq.; Michael Ira Levin, Esq.

For PA School Boards Association & The School District of Pittsburgh, APPELLANT AMICUS CURIAE: Katherine Marie Fitz Patrick, Esq.

For Department of Education, APPELLEE: Joseph M. Miller, Esq.

JUDGES: BEFORE: CASTILLE, C.J., SAYLOR, EAKIN, BAER, TODD, McCAFFERY, STEVENS, JJ. MR. JUSTICE McCAFFERY. Mr. Chief Justice Castille, Messrs. Justice Saylor, Eakin and Baer, Madame Justice Todd and Mr. Justice Stevens join the opinion.

OPINION

Page 747

MR. JUSTICE McCAFFERY

In this matter, we interpret a provision of the Charter School Law[1] that addresses the validity of an enrollment cap included in a written charter. Based on the plain text

Page 748

of 24 P.S. ยง 17-1723-A(d), we conclude that an enrollment cap is valid if agreed to by the parties as part of a written ...


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