Couch White Logo

The Firm offers education clients, including charter schools, a full spectrum of legal services covering all aspects of governance, management, operations, finance, real estate, compliance, and governmental / authorizer interaction.

The Firm’s representative experience includes:

  • Assisting with the application process for new charter schools, renewals, and charter revisions.
  • Navigating new construction, expansion, renovation, leasing, and financing of school facilities including acting as borrower’s counsel on tax-exempt bond and other facilities financing transactions, structuring transactions with not-for-profit lenders, and setting up special use corporations (“Friends Of”) for purposes of facility financing and rental assistance.
  • Providing a full suite of governance services including formation of not-for-profit, charitable, management, and other tax-exempt entities; drafting bylaws, resolutions, policies, and procedures; board and school staff training; attendance at board meetings / hearings; long term planning; handling of conflicts of interest and fiduciary duties; and compliance with applicable laws and regulations (e.g., FOIL and Open Meetings Law).
  • Merger, consolidation, and joint venture planning (including financial consequences), implementation, and due diligence for charter and private schools.
  • Contract drafting, negotiation, and management including employment services contracts.
  • Tax-exemption work including filings with the I.R.S. for 501(c)(3) status, assistance with annual and tax reporting, and preservation of tax-exempt status.
  • Human resources, employment, and labor law services including handling EEOC, N.Y. Division of Human Rights, and other discrimination complaints and lawsuits; teacher certification, child abuse and neglect reporting, and child abuse in an educational setting; employment policies and procedures, screening, and termination; and collective bargaining issues.
  • Litigation in connection with any matters listed with the assistance of the Firm’s Commercial Litigation practice area including CPLR Article 78 proceedings involving governmental entities.
  • Education law services including advice and counsel regarding:
    • Students with disabilities;
    • Student discipline policies and matters including suspension and expulsion hearings;
    • Civil and constitutional rights and access;
    • Representation before NYSED, OCR, and authorizer administrative hearings and proceedings; and,
    • Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and PII compliance.