Charter schools provide an important alternative to students and communities and face unique legal issues. Having a lawyer who is knowledgeable about these potential issues can help them safeguard their organization and involvement in the community. Here are the following legal issues that charter schools may face.
Obtaining a Charter
Starting a charter school is a complex undertaking that often involves bond financing to secure the funds necessary to open the school as well as an extensive application process. A lawyer can help with these processes and ensure that all legal steps are taken to increase the odds of a successful outcome.
Maintaining a Charter
Once you obtain your charter, it is vital that you maintain it. A lawyer can work closely with the school to ensure that steady progress is being made to accomplish charter goals and to document changes that the school has implemented. Additionally, a charter school lawyer can update policies and procedures as needed to obtain your objectives.
Charter schools must comply with a variety of laws, so it is important to work with a lawyer who can help boards develop and implement compliant policies and procedures. A knowledgeable charter school lawyer can:
- Help you select a board and explain the duties and restrictions of each board member
- Advise you on the laws you must comply with to maintain your charter
- Establish bylaws for your school
- Assist the board with oversight
- Audit for compliance
Developing School Policies and Procedures
A charter school may come under the strict scrutiny of its policies and procedures, especially when it is time to renew the charter. A charter school lawyer can work closely with your school’s leadership to develop the following policies and procedures that echo your values and comply with relevant laws:
- Student code of conduct
- Employee handbook
- Grievance complaint procedures
- Release forms
- IEP and 504 reviews and implementation
Real Estate and Zoning Issues
A charter school’s hard assets such as its land and buildings are often some of the most valuable assets the school owns. Therefore, it is important that the school has competent legal representation when handling transactions related to real property. A charter school lawyer can help with this aspect of the job by:
- Drafting contracts to develop the charter school’s buildings
- Finding financing to build or renovate its facility
- Responding to zoning issues
- Negotiating favorable purchase agreements
- Reviewing financing documents
- Performing due diligence on real property
- Preparing leases and subleases
- Preparing deeds
- Reviewing titles
- Drafting and negotiating contracts with vendors
- Selling property
Student Disciplinary Matters
If you need to take action against a student because of a disciplinary matter, it is important that you have legal guidance during this process to ensure that you provide the necessary due process and are willing to combat any resulting grievances.
Addressing Issues with Staff
Your charter school may hire hundreds of staff members, which makes it important that you know, understand, and follow applicable employment laws. Our lawyers can help you ensure that you have compliant policies in place for the hiring, disciplining, supervision, and termination of staff.
Contact Condos Law Office
If you need assistance with obtaining or maintaining your charter, board governance, developing compliant policies and procedures, real estate transactions, student disciplinary matters, addressing employment law issues, or responding to any other legal challenge your charter school faces, contact Condos Law Office at (480) 464-2676. We understand the unique challenges your charter school faces and are here to help you meet them.