WHAT WE DO
.01 Charter Applications & Contracts
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
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
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
Lease 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
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
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
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
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.
Unrelated Business Income
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.