Supreme Court Seal
South Carolina
JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT
Site Map | Feedback
2012-UP-080 - Hope Academy v. Richland County School District Two

THIS OPINION HAS NO PRECEDENTIAL VALUE. IT SHOULD NOT BE CITED OR RELIED ON AS PRECEDENT IN ANY PROCEEDING EXCEPT AS PROVIDED BY RULE 268(d)(2), SCACR.

THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA
In The Court of Appeals

Hope Academy Charter School, Appellant,

v.

Richland County School District Two, Respondent.


Appeal from the Administrative Law Court
John D. McLeod, Administrative Law Judge


Unpublished Opinion No.  2012-UP-080 
Heard January 11, 2012 – Filed February 15, 2012


AFFIRMED


Kirby D. Shealy and Paulette Edwards, both of Columbia, for Appellant.

Michael H. Montgomery, of Columbia, for Respondent.

PER CURIAM: In this administrative action,  Hope Academy Charter School (Academy) appeals the Administrative Law Court's (ALC) decision to affirm the Richland School District 2's (District) Board of Trustees' (Board) denial of Academy's charter application.  Specifically, Academy contends the ALC erred in:  (1) affirming District's denial of Academy's charter application based on the reliable, probative, and substantial evidence in the record; (2) failing to find District had violated constitutional or statutory provisions in their denial of Academy's charter application; and (3) failing to find District exceeded its statutory authority and/or acted in an arbitrary or capricious manner by employing different standards for Academy's application as opposed to those used in the review of other applications.  We affirm pursuant to Rule 220(b)(1), SCACR, and the following authority:

1.  As to whether the ALC erred in affirming the District's denial based on the reliable, probative, and substantial evidence in the record, we find there was substantial evidence to support the ALC's finding Academy's charter application was deficient in the areas of: (1) facilities and equipment, (2) transportation, (3) educational standards, and (4) economic plans; additionally, we find the ALC's findings were not controlled by an error of law.  See S.C. Code Ann. § 1-23-610(B)(d)-(e) (Supp. 2010) (stating in an appeal of the final decision of an administrative agency, the standard of appellate review is whether the findings of the ALC are supported by substantial evidence or affected by other error of law); Sanders v. S.C. Dep't of Corr., 379 S.C. 411, 417, 665 S.E.2d 231, 234 (Ct. App. 2008) (holding that in determining whether the ALC's decision was supported by substantial evidence, this court need only find evidence from which reasonable minds could reach the same conclusion that the ALC reached and the mere possibility of drawing two inconsistent conclusions from the evidence does not prevent a finding from being supported by substantial evidence). As to the ALC's findings that Academy's charter application was deficient in the areas of support for the school and violation of the spirit and intent of the law, we find it unnecessary to review those findings.  See Futch v. McAllister Towing of Georgetown, Inc., 335 S.C. 598, 613, 518 S.E.2d 591, 598 (1999) (ruling an appellate court need not review remaining issues when its determination of a prior issue is dispositive of the appeal).

2.  As to whether the ALC erred in failing to find District had violated constitutional or statutory provisions in their denial of Academy's charter application, we find Academy presented no evidence or examples of District creating requirements for their charter application in violation of constitutional or statutory provisions. See S.C. Code Ann. § 1-23-610(B)(a) (Supp. 2010) ("The court of appeals may affirm the decision [of the ALC] or remand the case for further proceedings; or, it may reverse or modify the decision if the substantive rights of the petitioner have been prejudiced because the finding, conclusion, or decision is: (a) in violation of constitutional or statutory provisions . . . .").

3.  As to whether the ALC erred in failing to find District exceeded its statutory authority and/or acted in an arbitrary or capricious manner by employing different standards for Academy's application as opposed to those used in review of other applications, Academy presented no evidence or examples of disparity of treatment between their charter application and previous charter applications. See S.C. Code Ann. § 1-23-610(B)(f) (Supp. 2010) ("The court of appeals may affirm the decision [of the ALC] or remand the case for further proceedings; or, it may reverse or modify the decision if the substantive rights of the petitioner have been prejudiced because the finding, conclusion, or decision is . . . arbitrary or capricious or characterized by abuse of discretion or clearly unwarranted exercise of discretion.")

AFFIRMED.

HUFF, PIEPER, and LOCKEMY, JJ., concur.