Education Law

Roetzel attorneys who practice in the area of education law offer the experience and insight to deliver every legal service required by public school districts, private schools, community schools and institutions of higher learning. The range of available services includes policy development, counseling on matters involving student discipline, teacher evaluation, special education issues, staff member misconduct, residency, preparation of employment agreements, compliance with state and federal regulatory requirements, collective bargaining and environmental compliance with air and water issues. In addition to contributing insight into a broad range of legal matters affecting schools, our attorneys also have the ability to provide a rapid response when challenging issues arise.

Our attorneys offer a variety of professional development programs that address timely legal issues and topics relevant to your school’s administrators and direct service providers. Roetzel also partners with school boards to provide cost-effective, preventative and comprehensive solutions to address the management of complex operational and fiscal concerns.

Our People

Representative Services

  • Arbitration proceedings
  • Board policy development
  • Bond law/public finance
  • Civil service
  • Collective bargaining and contract administration
  • Community school issues
  • Competitive bidding
  • Constitutional issues
  • Construction
  • Desegregation
  • Discrimination
  • Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) complaints
  • Employee evaluation
  • Employee discipline
  • Environmental issues
  • Equal access
  • Ethics
  • Internet issues
  • Intellectual property
  • Labor & employment
  • Labor & employment litigation
  • Legal updates and seminars
  • Levy proceedings
  • Local government relations
  • Office for Civil Rights (OCR) complaints and representation
  • Special education issues and compliance with state/federal requirements - IEP and State Level Review representation
  • State and Federal Court Litigation and Administrative Proceeding representation of Boards of Education and Administrators
  • Student affairs (discipline, expulsions, records, rights, privileges)
  • Sunshine Law
  • Tax levy law
  • Workers' compensation

Representative Matters

  • Represented schools in state and federal courts regarding disputes related to First Amendment issues, wrongful termination, unemployment claims, workers compensation claims, alleged discrimination, Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) issues, public records matters, student constitutional and other claims, special education issues, privacy/confidentiality matters, student injuries related to extracurricular activities, transportation litigation, student discipline, including suspension and expulsion appeals
  • Advised public school districts in a full range of legal matters including contract negotiation, charter school laws, public purchasing, competitive bidding, real property, Ohio School Facilities Commission (OSFC) matters, employee benefits, district purchasing, personnel, special education, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), civil rights, tuition, and residency
  • Served as bond counsel for schools and provided financial advice for construction projects; assisted school districts with securing funding sources, including general obligation bonds and school improvement bonds
  • Represented a public school system and local university in discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and wrongful termination suits
  • Prepared comprehensive policy manuals to bring school districts into compliance with federal, state, and local statutory requirements, including policies targeting copyright issues and acceptable use of the Internet to hiring protocol and community relations
  • Negotiated a project labor agreement for a state university to construct new university facilities
  • Represented a two-year state community college on its move from one location to another; this included all aspects of property acquisition, approvals, design, and construction
  • Drafted comprehensive policies on behalf of a university system relating to intellectual property assets, copyright issues, and acceptable use of the internet
  • Assisted schools in the negotiation of professional and classified support staff collective bargaining agreements; managed employee demands related to wages and benefits; maintained tentative agreements; and prepared final contracts for signature and distribution
  • Successfully defended a Northeast Ohio school district from administrative proceedings to the U.S. Supreme Court against a parent's challenge to the scope of special education services provided by the district; the case set the standard for the provision of "extended school year" services for students with disabilities
  • Handled tax complaints before the Board of Revision and Board of Tax Appeals on behalf of school districts to assist them in maximizing funding
  • Provide legal support for day-to-day issues regarding Individualized Education Programs (IEPs), Evaluation Team Reports (ETRs), PR-01s and related Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEIA) documentation
  • Assisted schools with real estate acquisition for construction programs, including the acquisition of facilities to serve as transitional schools during construction; advised on issues regarding eminent domain, land acquisition, sale of real and personal property; represented schools in lawsuits involving architects, general contractors and subcontractors over design and construction of school buildings, athletic fields, and stadiums
  • Represented a board of education in litigation before the Ohio Supreme Court that established the supremacy of negotiated reduction in force procedures
  • In administrative proceedings before an Impartial Hearing Officer and a State Level Review Officer, a parent's demand for private school placement was overruled; the board of education's complaint for recovery of attorney fees from the parent and attorney is now pending review in U.S. Northern District of Ohio; this attorney fee case is one of the first attempts to recover attorney fees from a parent under a new provision of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004
  • Defended a local school district against a zoning challenge to the use of modular classrooms
  • Reviewed and negotiated a managed care plan for an area community college
  • Performed real estate work for a public school system which involved acquiring real estate for the School Construction Program, including the acquisition of an $8 million office facility being retrofitted as a transitional school facility to house students during construction at existing facilities
  • Represented a four-year state university and several two-year state community colleges in eminent domain and land acquisition proceedings
  • Represented several two-year state community colleges on the design and construction of campus buildings, including the drafting of contracts and negotiating architect agreements, claims, disputes, and close-out operations
  • Handled issues related to public employees in the education industry, such as public records act matters, issues related to Revised Code Chapter 2744, and civil service issues
  • Represented a public school system in connection with real estate matters pertinent to the development of a new high school and athletic fields
  • Represented a state university in its bargain price acquisition, including all aspects of title and conveyancing, and subsequent sale and disposition of a 1,500 acre estate
  • Represented a community seeking to transfer territory to a different school district
  • Counseled on underground storage tank compliance issues, asbestos compliance issues related to demolition and renovation projects, as well as solid and hazardous waste management issues, including the requirements applicable to the onsite transportation of hazardous wastes
  • Represented a state university in the construction of new dormitories
  • Represented a four-year state university in litigation initiated by the school against an architect, contractor, and subcontractors over design and construction of the school's football stadium
  • Handled unemployment claims for a state university
  • Represented a village in a school transfer case before the Ohio Department of Education
  • Represent school districts in special education due process hearings before Impartial Hearings Officers and State Hearings Officers and/or Federal Courts
  • Represent school districts in responding to U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights complaints
  • Represent school districts in responding to Ohio Department of Education, Office for Exceptional Children complaints

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