Legal Resources

2012 - Florida Statutory Requirements (1002.33)

This document contains a list of the statutory requirements of charter schools based on the 2012 Florida Statutes. Read More
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Jul 2017

2017 HB 7069 Statute Updates

The 2017 Legislature approved House Bill #7069 which made many changes to educational and charter ... Read More

Appling for 501(c)(3) Status

Charter Schools in Florida are required to incorporate as not-for-profit agencies.  This means that when ... Read More

Attorney Contacts

The following list of attorneys has been generated by CSU staff. We do not make any assertions about the qualities or expertise of these attorneys, only that they have worked with charter schools in the past. If you know of other attorneys who should be added to this list, please contact Curtis Fuller. Read More

Can They Really Ask for That?

Increasingly, charter schools are receiving public records requests from the media and others. Responding to requests improperly or without thought can cause legal and public relations nightmares. Learn about public records, maintenance requirements, responding to requests from legal and public relations perspectives and what to do when the media calls. Read More

Charter School & EMO Ethics: Not Just Do's and Don'ts

Charter school boards are subject to public ethics laws.  In general, charter school management companies are not.  Both must comply with state employment, whistleblower, deceptive trade practice, and false claims act laws.  This session examines the public ethics obligations of charter school boards, the intersection of state statutory regulations with them, and best practices for management companies.  Best practices derive from state and federal regulatory regimes, as well as warranties and representations required by most banks and other financial institutions which finance school real estate and improvements. This webinar, presented by Mr. Nathan Adams of Holland & Knight LLP will be especially helpful for board members and administrators. Read More

Conflicts of Interest, Ethics and Nepotism

The Governing Board members of charter schools are volunteers, restricted by statute from personal gain from the school itself. Strict rules regarding conflict of interest, ethics and nepotism exist to prevent Governing Board members or their immediate family members from financial gain. These restrictions often raise questions of what is and is not allowable for governing board members. This webinar, presented by attorney Kathleen Schoenberg will focus specifically on conflicts of interest, ethics and nepotism to help governing board members and charter school staff who support them make appropriate decisions in their governance. Read More

Due Process for Exceptional Student Education

One of the most common legal areas charter schools run into is with regards to special education services. Schools must fully understand the the due process rights of the students and families receiving ESE services. This presentation, presented by an attorney who has assisted numerous charter schools with special education related situations, discussed the responsibilities of the charter school, and how to avoid potential legal issues when it comes to appropriately carrying out the requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Read More

ESE 101

This webinar focused on the charter school's responsibilities for accommodating the needs of ESE students, as well as how to work effectively with your School District to ensure compliance. Read More

Federal and State Tax Compliance Issues

Here in Florida, charter schools must be organized as or operated by a nonprofit organization, generally classified as a 501(c)(3) school by the Internal Revenue Service and the Florida Department of Revenue. This webinar will provide participants with an overview of the requirements for qualification as a 501(c)(3) school, including ongoing compliance requirements to maintain such status, as well as an overview of the various state tax requirements and benefits available to schools here in Florida. Read More

Government in the Sunshine - Part 1

Florida Charter Schools are required to comply with the state's complex Government in the Sunshine requirements. The current Government in the Sunshine manual is 326 pages long, and contains numerous requirements that public entities must comply with. This two-part webinar presented by Melissa Gross-Arnold and Shawn Arnold of the Arnold Law Firm will cover some of the key specific questions that are often asked by charter schools. A partial list of topics include: committees, evaluations, agendas, minutes, recordings, required attendees, electronic participation and more. The first of the two webinars will be presented on October 22 with the second presentation on October 29. This presentation will be especially beneficial for Governing Board members and the school administrators who support them. Read More

Government in the Sunshine - Part 2

Florida Charter Schools are required to comply with the state's complex Government in the Sunshine requirements. The current Government in the Sunshine manual is 326 pages long, and contains numerous requirements that public entities must comply with. This two-part webinar presented by Melissa Gross-Arnold and Shawn Arnold of the Arnold Law Firm will cover some of the key specific questions that are often asked by charter schools. A partial list of topics include: committees, evaluations, agendas, minutes, recordings, required attendees, electronic participation and more. This was the second of two webinars, and is particularly beneficial for Governing Board members and the school administrators who support them. Read More

Know Your Charter Contract

For Charter Schools fully understanding the charter contract is essential. The contract defines the relationship between the district and the school, and the requirements the school must abide by. When charter school leaders reach out for help, usually the first question asked is "what does your contract say?" This presentation hosted by a respected charter school attorney will discuss how to read and understand the contract and some tips to help organize the responsibilities defined therein. Read More

Legal Handbook

Charter School Leaders and Board Members have a variety of laws and administrative rules they ... Read More

Legal Priorities for New Charter Schools

This presentation was for people or groups who are thinking about submitting a charter application. Mr. Woodring discusses the process and common legal priorities that charter applicants should be aware of as they work to develop their charter application to start a new school. Read More

Legislative Updates

The 2013 Legislature passed several bills that include numerous changes that charter schools operators need to be aware of. These include changes related to the application process, contract negotiations, financial statements, closure protocols, and the distribution of federal funds. Join us for this informative webinar where we will highlight the legislative changes you need to know about that are anticipated to go into effect on July 1. Read More

Links to Attorney General Legal Opinions related to Charter Schools

Last Updated July 21, 2013 The list below is a list of Attorney General opinions ... Read More

Negotiating a Facilities Lease for Charter Schools

The two largest expenses charter schools face are typically employees and facilities. Negotiating a favorable lease is essential to not only ensuring that the school is paying an appropriate amount for their space, but also to be sure they are protected into the future and can use the space for the wide variety of activities the school may eventually want to participate in. The lease agreement is typically a complex legal document with many parts. This webinar will discuss what you should consider when you are negotiating (or renegotiating) your lease with your landlord, and key indicators you will want to pay attention to. The presentation will be presented by Mr. Jeff Wood, an attorney who specializes in working with charter schools throughout the state. Read More

New School Institute Training 1

The Charter Support Unit was excited to present the first New School Institute training on ... Read More

New State Financial Reporting Template

In October the State Board of Education approved an amendment to Rule 6A-1.0081 regarding Monthly Financial Statements and Financial Conditions for charter schools. This presentation will give a brief description of the rule, and demonstrate how to get the information for the new model reports from Quickbooks. Updates to the charter school statutes last year indicated that all charter schools will be required to use the new forms approved by the Department. Read More

Preparing for and running student lotteries

Charter Schools are required to ensure that all applicants shall have an equal chance of being admitted through a random selection process. What exactly is required for the lottery process? The presentation will focus on those legal requirements and compliance that charter schools should be aware of. It will also address Florida based preferences, written lottery policy guidelines, and the future of weighted lotteries in Florida. Read More

Public Records Laws

Charter schools are subject to Florida’s Public Records Laws. Almost any document the school creates from financial reports, to emails to payroll reports are subject to public records requests. Join us for this presentation presented by Daniel Mantzaris of de Beaubien, Knight, Simmons, Mantzaris & Neal, LLP which will cover the definition of public records, how charter schools should respond to public records request, how records should be maintained and what the consequences of non-compliance could be. Read More

Public Records Laws

Charter schools are subject to Florida’s Public Records Laws. Almost any document the school creates from financial reports, to emails to payroll reports are subject to public records requests. Join us for this presentation presented by Daniel Mantzaris of de Beaubien, Knight, Simmons, Mantzaris & Neal, LLP which will cover the definition of public records, how charter schools should respond to public records request, how records should be maintained and what the consequences of non-compliance could be. Read More

School Improvement Plans - Administrative Rule Summary (6A-1.099827)

This document is a summary of the administrative rule 6A-1.099827 which was approved August 21, 2012.  This rule defines the requirements for charter schools to complete a School Improvement Plan, and potential Corrective Actions which can be taken by schools who are required to do so. Read More

Summary of 1012.31 - Personnel Files

According to Florida Statute (1012.31), the personnel files for public school employees are eligible for public inspection, and certain requirements exist for the process to add additional information into the employee record.  This document provides a summary of 1012.31 and what pieces of a personnel files are exempt from public records requests. Read More

Teacher Evaluation Requirements of the Student Success Act

In 2011 the Florida Legislature passed a bill commonly referred to as SB736, otherwise known as the "Student Success Act."  This bill was signed into law in 2011, and altered the way teacher evaluations occur in Florida.  It required that schools develop a performance evaluation system based on specific state requirements, along with a pay-for-performance component.  This document describes the teacher evaluation components described in Florida Statute 1012.34.  Click here to access the information sheet about 1012.22(1)(c) regarding pay for performance. Read More

Title I, Part A Basics

How to ensure that all children have a fair and equal opportunity to obtain a high-quality education and reach, at a minimum, proficiency on State academic achievement standards and assessments. This free webinar will be presented by Sonya Morris- Chief of Federal Educational programs with the Department of Education. Read More

Title IX Compliance

Understanding how each individual charter school that offers athletics must comply with Title IX and are evaluated on their own compliance without regard to services provided by the their school District. Read More

We're getting sued ... what should we do?

The unfortunately truth is that we live in a litigious society. As a not-for-profit corporation, charter schools are not exempt from law suits, and should have a plan for how they respond if they are ever sued. When the school is served regarding a lawsuit, what exactly should the next steps be? What do school administrators and Governing Boards need to do, and not do, to ensure they are protected moving forward and defending the school. When should an attorney be called, and how much can the school expect to spend? These are all variables that should be considered when developing a plan for responding to potential law suits. Join us to learn more for this presentation by Amber Ashton, a senior associate attorney with de Beaubien, Knight, Simmons, Mantzaris & Neal, LLP. Read More