"After a thorough review of the documentation related to this matter, the inescapable conclusion is that Regis has made material misrepresentations throughout the process and has not at times acted in good faith in its interactions with the department," state Assistant Education Commissioner Evo Popoff said in his letter to Khan.
Khan could not be reached for comment Friday.
The minister's attempt to open a charter in the high-performing Cherry Hill district had met strong opposition from residents and education officials in Cherry Hill and Voorhees, who said the charter would divert per-pupil state funds from their schools. Cherry Hill and Voorhees filed an appeal with the state contesting Regis' preliminary approval.
Those challengers were celebratory on Friday.
"The district's objections to this charter application have been well-documented, and we are glad that the commissioner has decided not to grant final approval," Cherry Hill superintendent Maureen Reusche and Board of Education President Seth Klukoff said in a statement.
""We're just ecstatic," said Rita McClellan, a leader of Speak Up South Jersey, a citizens' group that gathered more than 2,400 signatures urging the state to deny Regis final approval.
According to enrollment data provided by Cherry Hill, the majority of the students who appeared to be headed to the proposed charter were not from Cherry Hill or Voorhees, which - with Somerdale and Lawnside - had been named by Regis as its target districts.
Students from 33 districts expressed interest in attending the school, the largest contingents coming from Lawnside and Lindenwold, according to the data. Charters must give priority to students from the primary districts identified in their applications, but may admit students from elsewhere.
The apparent lack of interest in Regis by Cherry Hill parents and students raised doubt that the community needed the charter, a district spokeswoman said Thursday.
But it was lack of forthrightness by the applicants and uncertainty about whether the school had a definite site that brought the charter denial, according to Popoff's letter.
In its initial application, Regis stated that Solid Rock owned the former Holy Rosary church facility at Burnt Mill and Evesham Roads in Cherry Hill and would lease a portion of it to the charter, according to the state.
But Solid Rock did not own the property, and the Diocese of Camden, which does own it, has sought to evict the church, the letter continued.
In an interview Thursday, Khan said that Solid Rock had halted its fight against its eviction and would move out voluntarily July 17. The diocese filed suit against Solid Rock last year, saying it had not met the terms of a lease-to-buy real estate agreement.
An education spokesman said Thursday that Regis subsequently informed the department that it planned to locate to the former Living Faith Christian Academy on the Cooper River in Cherry Hill. State officials recently inspected the facility.
As part of its recent preparedness-for-opening review, the state received a lease from the charter-seekers identifying Solid Rock as the landlord of the second location and Regis as the tenant, according to Popoff's letter.
"Because of the prior misstatement in the Regis application" the department sought verification of ownership, Popoff wrote.
In an e-mail to the state on Thursday, Calvin Brown - Solid Rock's executive director and vice chair of the Regis board of trustees - wrote that the church was in the process of buying the property.
But, Popoff wrote, the property was still listed for sale on several real estate websites.
Those findings, "when taken along with misstatements in Regis' original application, raise serious concerns regarding Regis' reliability and integrity," he concluded.
Khan said recently that enrollment at the proposed charter had "snowballed" since May and that Regis would meet its goal of opening with 250 students. The school eventually intended to admit pupils from kindergarten through the eighth grade.
Contact staff writer Rita Giordano at 856-779-3841 or email@example.com, or follow on Twitter @ritagiordano.