YM&C provides legal counsel for every aspect of school law.
YM&C attorneys provide specialized advice and training to charter schools on compliance with laws applicable to public agencies such as the Brown Act, Political Reform Act and the Public Records Act. These laws ensure public access to charter school board meetings, prevent conflicts of interest by public officials in the course of charter school operations, and provide for public access to most electronic and paper records maintained by the charter school. These laws are applicable to public agencies but not to private corporations, so even charter school board members who have extensive service on for-profit and nonprofit boards benefit from advice on how to comply with these requirements.
Since failure to comply with some of these statutes can lead to criminal penalties and fines, we are vigilant in providing advice designed to ensure that your school remains legally compliant and operates with the highest degree of integrity. Our work in public law is primarily done through preventative advice that is delivered through workshops and individual requests for legal opinions from charter schools. We provide the following services to our clients:
- Review of board agendas to ensure compliance with both open session and closed session notice requirements.
- Responding to demands to cure and correct Brown Act violations pertaining to open meeting requirements.
- Analysis of potential conflict of interest issues and step-by-step instructions for legal compliance when these issues arise.
- Assisting clients with the development of a Conflict of Interest Code tailored to each charter school as required by the Political Reform Act and obtaining the required approval of the County Board of Supervisors or Fair Political Practices Commission as appropriate.
- Assisting clients with determining which employees and officers should file a Form 700 Statement of Economic Interest and each specific individual’s filing obligations.
- Reviewing Public Records Act requests and providing responses to these requests that meet legal requirements while maintaining confidentiality of student records, employee records and attorney-client privileged records.
Workshops and Seminars
YM&C attorneys provide trainings to charter school board members and administrators on compliance with the Brown Act, Political Reform Act and Public Records Act. Each training is specifically tailored to the needs of each charter school in order to take into account the unique issues facing the school. These workshops are provided throughout the year at charter schools, and are also offered at the California Charter Schools Association Conference and at Governance Academies that are co-sponsored with the California Charter Schools Association. If your school has interest in having one of our attorneys present to your board and administrative team, please do not hesitate to call our offices.