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In re Beekman

Intermediate Court of Appeals of Hawaii

June 25, 2013

In the Matter of ROBERT EARL BEEKMAN, ANDREA WILSON, AND HAWAI'I STATE TEACHERS ASSOCIATION, Appellants-Appellants, and LAUPAHOEHOE COMMUNITY PUBLIC CHARTER SCHOOL, LAUPAHOEHOE ALUMNI/COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION, LAUPAHOEHOE COMMUNITY PUBLIC CHARTER SCHOOL INTERIM LOCAL SCHOOL BOARD (2011-029), Appellants-Appellees/Appellees and THE BOARD OF EDUCATION, STATE OF HAWAI'I, Agency-Appellee/Appellee and STATE OF HAWAI'I, CHARTER SCHOOL REVIEW PANEL, Agency-Appellee/Appellee

NOT FOR PUBLICATION IN WEST'S HAWAI'I REPORTS AND PACIFIC REPORTER

APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE THIRD CIRCUIT (CIVIL NO. 12-1-0087).

Herbert R. Takahashi Rebecca L. Covert Davina W. Lam Presiding Judge (Takahashi & Covert) for Appellants-Appellants.

Gary S. Suganuma Holly T. Shikada Deputy Attorneys General for Agency-Appellee/Appellee Board of Education, State of Hawai'i.

Monica T.L. Morris Caron M. Inagaki Deputy Attorneys General for Appellant-Appellee/Appellee Laupahoehoe Community Public Charter School.

Christopher P. Schlueter for Appellant-Appellee/Appellee Laupahoehoe Alumni/Community Association.

Foley, Presiding J., Fujise and Leonard, JJ.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

In this secondary administrative appeal, Appellants-Appellants Robert Earl Beekman, Andrea Wilson, and the Hawai'i State Teachers Association (collectively, Appellants) appeal from the May 25, 2012 final judgment and order entered in the Circuit Court of the Third Circuit[1] (circuit court) in favor of Appellees-Appellees Laupahoehoe Community Public Charter School; Laupahoehoe Alumni/Community Association; Laupahoehoe Community Public Charter School Interim Local School Board; the Board of Education, State of Hawai'i; and the State of Hawai'i, Charter School Review Panel (collectively, Appellees). The circuit court granted Appellees' motion to dismiss Appellants' appeal.

I. BACKGROUND

In 2010, the Laupahoehoe Community Public Charter School (Charter School) began as a project to convert Laupahoehoe High and Elementary School (Laupahoehoe), then a Department of Education (DOE) school, to a public charter school. At the time, the governing law on public charter schools was contained in Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS) Chapter 302B (2007 Repl.). The statute required DOE schools to submit a charter application and a detailed implementation plan (DIP) to the Charter School Review Panel (CSRP), which had the power to review, approve, or deny charter applications and significant amendments to DIPs. HRS § 302B-6 (2007 Repl.). On September 14, 2010, the CSRP notified the Charter School that its application had been reviewed and would be moving toward the next stage.

On May 31, 2011, the CSRP notified the Charter School's interim local school board[2] (Charter School ILSB) that its charter application had been denied based on several concerns. The Charter School ILSB appealed the CSRP's decision to the Board of Education (BOE) which, pursuant to HRS § 302B-3.5 (2007 Repl.), had the power to decide appeals from the CSRP's decision. The BOE issued a decision on August 3, 2011, reversing the CSRP's denial of the charter application and granting the request for the issuance of a charter.

After the BOE's decision, the CSRP advised the Charter School ILSB that certain assurances needed to be met before Laupahoehoe could begin operating as a charter school in the 2012-2013 school year. Among other things, the CSRP required that the Charter School elect a local school board. This pre-opening deadline was based on the Charter School's DIP, which had stated the Charter School ILSB would transition the school's governance to a local school board by September 2011. See HRS § 302B-7 (2007 Repl.) (requiring charter schools have a local school board that would act as the autonomous governing body of its charter school).

On October 24, 2011, the Charter School ILSB informed the CSRP that it could not meet the CSRP's deadline to complete the local school board election. It submitted a proposed amendment to the DIP that would allow it to delay the election to after the start of the 2012-2013 school year (no later than September 30, 2 012). At a CSRP general meeting held on November 10, 2011, the CSRP decided that because of the Charter School's failure to hold an election, the conversion would not occur in the 2012-2013 school year, and Laupahoehoe would operate as a DOE school for that year. The CSRP accordingly informed the Charter School ILSB and the DOE of its decision.

The Charter School ILSB then filed two appeals to the BOE. The first appeal challenged the CSRP's denial of the DIP amendment of the election date. The second appeal challenged the CSRP's decision to withhold the ...


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