Wells, et al. v. One2One Learning Foundation, et al.

Summary

The California Supreme Court's modified decision in Wells v. One2One Learning Foundation found that the corporate charter school operators of the One2One charter schools were private entities and subject to penalties under the False Claims Act and unfair competition laws.

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Case Overview

The California (CA) Supreme Court's modified decision in Wells v. One2One Learning Foundation found that the corporate charter school operators of the One2One charter schools were private entities and subject to penalties under the False Claims Act and unfair competition laws. The case arose from a distance learning program that promised computers and other educational programs which the students allegedly did not receive.

With the CCSA's Charter Schools Legal Defense Fund (CSLDF) in its infancy at that time, CCSA became aware of the case only after the CA Supreme Court filed its initial opinion on August 31, 2006. CCSA immediately requested a rehearing and/or modification of the opinion. CCSA was concerned that the opinion announced an overly broad rule that all charter schools are operated by nongovernmental entities and that all charter schools are nongovernmental in nature, and sought a more factually and legally accurate opinion.

As a direct result of CCSA's request, weeks later the CA Supreme Court issued modifications to the opinion which limited its scope to the charter schools operated by nonprofit corporations in this particular case, and removed sweeping language that referred to all charter schools and operators as "nongovernmental." It is rare for the CA Supreme Court to be responsive to a non-party request to modify a decision, so CCSA was particularly pleased that the CSLDF was in a position to act quickly once we were aware of the decision. Ultimately, the opinion has supported a statute-by-statute analysis when determining whether a charter school or its operator is governmental or not.

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