The Most Important Legal Topics for Charter Schools to Understand

In the last few years, legal issues surrounding charter schools have gotten more attention. From disputes over grade changes and misrepresentation during evaluation processes to school funding debates, charter schools have gotten more of a spotlight in the legal field as of late. But there are other legal situations in which charter schools need representation.

Here are some top reasons why charter schools should consult with a legal professional.

Renewal Application and Amendments

The renewal process starts when a charter school opens its doors for the first time. It should be an early task to cover for charter schools to review progress toward each charter goal and in turn, document implemented changes that may be needed to achieve certain goals. At the time of the renewal application, charter schools should consult with legal representation to update their policies, procedures, and legal oversight.

Board Governance and Compliance

It is important for charter school boards to install board-level policies and procedures which meet various law requirements, rules, and regulations per their state. Lawyers can assist with responses to requests under the Freedom of Information Act as well as help with board meetings and provide direction to assist boards in their duty of oversight.

Real Estate Issues

The facility at which a charter school operates out of is an important asset. Legal representation should be able to help with all real estate transactions, no matter the size or complexity. If a school needs to develop to build out a new building or school location altogether, legal counsel can help with guidance through leasing and acquisition.

Tax-Exempt Status

Charter schools operate as non-profit organizations, which means they are required by law to obtain tax-exempt status. Charter schools can face major legal liabilities and financial responsibility when it comes to non-profit status requirements. School boards, while being able to invest in public educator insurance programs that can help provide insurance coverage in legal situations, need to make sure they’re bringing on the right legal representation to handle tax-exempt status on both federal and state levels.

School Policies and Procedures

Charter schools require multiple policies and procedures to operate effectively and efficiently and to maintain their status as a charter. In particular, during the renewal application process, the Board of Regents needs to make sure that a charter school has the right policies and procedures implemented to effectively operate the school.

About PGUI

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