Schools

The School Law Group at Bickerstaff maintains an active practice representing traditional public schools and charter schools in all aspects of school operations. We provide schools and colleges legal services in employment contracts, student rights, student discipline, Section 504 and special education, school finance and taxation, purchasing, land use regulations, civil litigation, board training, and school boundaries. Our experience as general counsel to rural and urban school entities enables us to effectively handle routine calls and complex entanglements.

Our team has substantial experience in the following areas:

Governance

Including advising clients on parliamentary procedure, conflicts of interest and nepotism issues, dual-office holding questions, official immunity, questions related to the use of public funds local policy, handbooks, open meetings requirements, trustee elections, bond elections, tax rollback elections, M&O tax rate authority, redistricting, voting rights, and records retention;

Employment Contracts in Public Schools

Including assisting clients with proper documentation, evaluation, and discipline of professional employees employed by contract; acting as Board advisors during termination proceedings; and consulting on superintendent contract negotiations and extensions, including compensation, benefits, and professional evaluations;

Student Rights in Public Schools

Including advising clients on student constitutional and statutorily-protected rights, such as freedom to exercise religion, freedom to associate and form student clubs, right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures, the right to gender equity in sports, the right to private education records, and more;

Student Discipline in Public Schools

Including aiding school officials tonavigate effectively local Student Codes of Conduct and Chapter 37 of the Education Code, related to the reasons or which students may be removed from the classroom;

Section 504 & Special Education for Public Schools

Including counseling clients on compliance with Section 504 and the IDEA, as well as comprehensive guidance with Child Find and Transition for accommodating and providing appropriate services to students with physical and learning disabilities;

Boundaries for Public Schools and Higher Education

Including assisting public schools and community colleges with boundary changes for submission to state and federal agencies for approval through the use of the firm’s in-house GIS mapping department; and handling legislative amendments related to the of annexation of neighboring territories for community colleges and charter schools;

Public Finance

Including advising clients on financing options, interpreting restrictions on the use of bond receipts, analyzing bond documents, and handling all aspects of the proposal, approval, election, and sale for financing instruments;

Real Estate and Construction Projects

Including representing schools in connection with the acquisition, condemnation, sale, lease, financing and development of real property; assisting with title and survey review, environmental site assessment review, and negotiation and drafting of purchase contracts, deeds, leases, easements, and other real estate documents; and advising in the event of construction disputes;

School Litigation

Including advising and counseling schools, superintendents, and school boards throughout the entire litigation process.