Our core focus is the representation of charter schools. The firm has represented over one hundred charter schools from application through to appeal to revocation.

While we aim in every case to secure the best deal for our client and avoid the courtroom, we do not shy away from litigation. We are not only aware of, but often directly involved in, the changes in the local charter school law landscape.

Some recent representations:

West Philadelphia Achievement Charter Elementary School v. SRC – (Pending) – Attorneys filed a lawsuit in the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania seeking declaratory and injunctive relief, requesting the Court to find portions of the statute authorizing the SRC unconstitutional and contrary to the Charter School Law, and requesting an injunction of the implementation of the SRC’s suspensions of law regarding enrollment caps, tuition payment by PDE, and standards for non-renewal and revocation.

OA attorneys with Stacy Phillips and students of WPACES at the Supreme Court oral argument held in Philadelphia on Sept. 9, 2014.

New Hope Academy Charter School v. York School District – (Commonwealth Court, 2014) – O’Donnell Associates successfully obtained a stay of the Charter School Appeal Board’s decision that would have closed the school in the middle of the academic year.

T.J. v. Education Plus Academy Cyber Charter School – (Office of Dispute Resolution, 2013) – Jeff successfully defended the firm’s client against a parent seeking educational placement at a private school, and obtained a decision that the charter school had offered student a Free and Appropriate Public Education.

In re: Non-Renewal Proceedings for Imani Education Circle Charter School (School District of Philadelphia, 2013) – O’Donnell Associates obtained a recommendation from a Hearing Examiner that dismissed 8 of 9 charges filed against the charter school in a non-renewal proceeding.

School District of Philadelphia v. Dep’t of Education (Commonwealth Court, 2012) – Bob advised and litigated on behalf of a charter school client in successfully defending a challenge by the School District to enforce a cap on the charter school’s enrollment.

The firm has also had recent successes on behalf of charter school clients in disputes before the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission, the State Charter School Appeal Board, the Philadelphia Board of Revision of Taxes, the Pennsylvania Office of Open Records, and the Pennsylvania Department of Education.