WHAT WE DO

.01 Charter Applications & Contracts

Applications

Contracts

Waivers

Amendments

Appeals

Renewals

 

 

The Charter School Law Group helps clients submit charter applications, negotiate charter contracts, obtain waivers from state laws and authorizer policies, and navigate the legal frameworks in which they operate. Charter schools are unique and customizable but subject to complex legal requirements. Our firm is here to make starting a charter school feel less overwhelming.  

.02 Employee & Student Matters

Employee Relations

Student Relations

Policies

Handbooks

Safety

Training

Hearings

Terminations

Student Discipline

 

The Charter School Law Group helps our clients draft effective policies and handbooks that can help prevent problematic situations and reduce legal liability. When relationships are strained, we provide prompt guidance on how to address the most challenging employee and student situations, from free speech issues to transgender rights. We also offer training to our clients and can customize training based on your school's needs. The Charter School Law Group also represents our clients in employment matters ranging from discrimination investigations to hearings, and we will fervently engage in litigation if the need arises.  

 

 

.03 Entity Formation

Articles of Incorporation

Bylaws 

Entity Formation

Tax-Exempt Applications

 

While Colorado charter schools are government entities, they form as nonprofit corporations. The Charter School Law Group helps schools with entity formation and the formation of support entities. We also advise our clients on how to structure their articles of incorporation and bylaws to fit their specific needs. Most charter schools in Colorado also obtain tax-exempt (501(c)(3) status from the IRS. The Charter School Law Group has extensive experience with drafting applications for tax-exemption for both charter schools and their support entities.  

 

 

.04 Facility Financing

New Schools

Expansion
Tax-Exempt Bonds

Bank Loans

Least to Purchase

While the Charter School Law Group handles a wide variety of legal needs for charter schools, we are heavily focused on facility financing. We routinely help our clients obtain funding for new schools and expansions. Our firm has worked with a variety of funding sources, including private placement bonds, publicly traded bonds, bank financing, lease to purchase, as well as less traditional sources.  In 2019, the firm represented Colorado charter schools with over $150 million in financing.  

 

 

.05 General Contracts

Goods

Services

Educational

Operational

Instructional

Technical

 

 

 

 

The Charter School Law Group represents our clients in all aspects of contract negotiation and execution, ranging from technology contracts to food services. Because Colorado charter schools are government entities and operate as tax-exempt nonprofit corporations, they are required to include specific provisions in all of their contracts in order to comply with both federal and state laws as well as their charter contracts. Our firm ensures our clients’ contracts comply with the law and that specific roles, responsibilities, powers, and performance expectations are all clearly addressed for each party.  

 

06. Policy & Governance

Board Policies

Operational Policies

Standard Operating Procedures

 

The Charter School Law Group understands the legal and contractual requirements of charter schools and assists our clients with both board level and administrative governance. When drafting policies for our clients, we help them establish the culture of their organization and understand the difference between board and administrative governance. By developing practical and clear policies, our clients can prevent challenges before they happen and resolve them effectively when they do arise. The Charter School Law Group helps schools develop board policies, operational policies, employee and student handbooks, and standard operating procedures. 

 

.07 Facility Acquisition, Leasing, & Construction

Acquisitions

Due Diligence

Construction

Zoning

Leases

 

 

The Charter School Law Group has represented Colorado charter schools in real estate transactions totaling in the hundreds of millions of dollars. The firm understands the legal requirements of charter schools' real estate needs, and we guide our clients through all of their real estate needs, from securing small shopping center leases to acquiring raw land and constructing new builds.   

 

 

.08 Special Education

Charter Contract Negotiations

Policy Development

504s

IEPs

Discipline

Manifestation Determinations Alternative Placements

 

The Charter School Law Group provides the support and services needed to provide quality special education programs for students attending charter schools. Because the delegation of special education services between charter schools and their authorizers can be complicated, it is important to specifically address the roles and responsibilities of each entity in a school’s charter contract. Having a well-drafted charter contract can help prevent complications down the road. Our firm also has experience developing policies and admissions practices that provide all students with equal access and their free and appropriate public education. We also assist our clients with legal questions regarding 504s and IEPs, discipline, manifestation determinations, and alternative placements.   

 

09. Taxes

Tax Exemption 

Property Taxes 

Sales Tax 

Unrelated Business Income 

Disputes  

 

The Charter School Law Group understands the unique tax situations of charter schools. We help our clients obtain and maintain tax-exempt status from the Internal Revenue Services and address disputes. We also help our clients obtain sales and property tax-exemptions. Our firm also has experience with understanding unrelated business income and how to mitigate its impact.  

 

This website is intended to supply general information to the public about the charter school law group, part of the law office of Dustin R. Sparks, LLC. (the “firm”). We try to ensure the accuracy of this information, but cannot guarantee that this information is accurate. Laws change quickly, and the reader should always ensure that legal information of any sort is up-to-date and accurate before relying on it. The legal information provided at this site is general, and not specific. The reader should never assume that this information applies to their specific situation without consulting competent counsel in his or her state. This website is not intended to be advertising, solicitation, or legal advice. Thus, the reader should not consider this information to be an invitation for an attorney-client relationship, should not rely on information provided herein, and should always seek the advice of competent counsel in the reader's state. We do not intend links on our website to be referrals or endorsements of the linked entities. We do not wish to represent anyone desiring representation based upon viewing this website in a state where this website fails to comply with all laws and ethical rules of that state. The use of electronic communication for confidential or sensitive information is discouraged. The act of sending electronic communications or calling the firm or a specific attorney does not alone create an attorney-client relationship, is not protected by attorney-client privilege, and the firm and its attorneys, reserve the right not to respond.