Public Law & Finance

Education Law

Roetzel’s Education practice represents traditional public school districts, K-12 schools, public and private colleges and universities, as well as trustees and governing boards, foundations, public and private organizations, and other educational entities with regard to many of the challenges affecting the industry.

We have the resources and depth to help protect and advise your school regarding any legal or operational issue that may arise.

Our deep familiarity with these highly specific issues allows Roetzel to serve as general legal counsel for public school districts and other educational institutions, serving both entities without in-house legal departments as well as those with in-house departments. We have the resources and depth to help protect and advise your school regarding any legal or operational issue that may arise.

Roetzel offers a variety of services such as counseling on matters involving student discipline, teacher evaluation, special education issues, staff member misconduct, residency, preparation of employment agreements, policy development, compliance with state and federal regulatory requirements, public records issues, compliance with open meetings requirements, collective bargaining/contract administration and environmental compliance with air quality and water issues. In addition to contributing insight into a broad range of legal matters affecting schools, our attorneys have the ability to provide a rapid response when challenging issues arise.

Our interdisciplinary team has the support of experienced attorneys who focus their practice on workers’ compensation, unemployment issues, public finance as bond counsel and underwriter’s counsel, local government advocacy, risk and crisis management, privacy and data security, guidance and response to media inquiries, construction, real estate, employment litigation and occupational health and safety concerns.

Our Experience

  • 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
  • Secured dismissal of charges of discrimination filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and unfair labor practice charges filed with National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)
  • 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 in hiring protocols and community relations
  • Drafted comprehensive policies on behalf of a university system relating to intellectual property assets, copyright issues, and acceptable use of the internet
  • Served as bond counsel for The University of Akron, Kent State University, The University of Toledo, Northeast Ohio Medical University, Cuyahoga Community College, Clark State Community College, and Shawnee State University
  • Represented Maple Heights City School District as bond counsel for $55,734,932, Ohio General Obligations School Facilities Improvement Bonds
  • Represented Springfield Local School District as bond counsel for $33,724,861, General Obligations School Facilities Improvement Bonds
  • Served as underwriter counsel for $81,000,000, Strongsville City School District Improvement
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Represented public school board in discrimination lawsuit filed by former administrator whose contract was not renewed
  • Represented a charter school and board members in discrimination lawsuit
  • Investigated workplace discrimination complaints for public schools

What We Do

  • Arbitration proceedings
  • Board policy development
  • Bond law/public finance
  • Civil service
  • Collective bargaining and contract administration
  • Community school issues
  • Competitive bidding
  • Constitutional issues
  • Construction
  • Crisis communication
  • Cybersecurity and privacy
  • Desegregation
  • Discrimination
  • Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) complaints
  • Employee evaluation
  • Employee discipline
  • Environmental issues
  • Equal access
  • Ethics
  • Intellectual property
  • Labor & employment
  • Labor & employment litigation
  • Legal updates and seminars
  • Levy proceedings
  • Litigation
  • Local government advocacy
  • Office for Civil Rights (OCR) complaints and representation
  • Public-private partnerships
  • Real Estate, Land Use & Zoning
  • 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

Related Media & Events

  1. Alerts
    Significant Changes to Title IX Adopted by the U.S. Department of Education - Apr 19, 2024
    Legislation Introduced in Ohio General Assembly to Increase Minimum Teacher Salaries - Apr 3, 2024
    U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights Releases 4 New Resource Documents Addressing Students With Disabilities Under Section 504 - Feb 21, 2024
    Is the Title IX Final Rule Finally Coming? - Feb 6, 2024
    Is the After School Satan Club Coming to Your School District? - Jan 3, 2024
    Ohio Auditor of State Issues New Guidance on School Board and Employee Involvement in Levies and Bond Issues - Aug 25, 2023
    Changes to Ohio Rule Regarding Employment of Licensed Individuals with Certain Criminal Convictions in Schools - Jul 21, 2023
    State Biennial Budget (HB33) Heads to Ohio Governor for Approval – Summary of Major Educational Changes - Jul 3, 2023
    Section 504 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Expected August 2023 - Jun 27, 2023
    Appeals Court Upholds School’s Right to Discipline Student for Off-Campus Speech - Jun 22, 2023
    Clashing Times: Developments Concerning Transgender Student Athletes - Apr 10, 2023
    New Ohio Law Impacting Indemnity in Public Works Design Contracts - Mar 31, 2023
    Supreme Court Holds Districts May Be Sued for Damages Even When IDEA Administrative Process Is Not Exhausted - Mar 23, 2023
    Developmental Delay Now Reaches Beyond Preschool - Jan 30, 2023
    Ohio Supreme Court Restores the Presumption of Regularity for Executive Session Deliberations - Jan 3, 2023
    Supreme Court Holds School Board Cannot Prohibit Coach From Praying on the Football Field - Jun 27, 2022
    Title IX’s Anniversary Gift – Proposed Changes - Jun 23, 2022
    Ohio School Boards Permitted to Allow Employees to Carry Guns in Schools - Jun 14, 2022
    New Ohio Law Prohibits Restrictions Against Students Wearing Religious Apparel While Competing - May 31, 2022
    Juneteenth – A Legal Holiday in Ohio for Non-Teaching School District Employees? - May 11, 2022
    504 Regulations Will Be Amended: Get Your Comments In - May 10, 2022
    Will Ohio Be Next in Allowing High School Athletes to Profit From NIL? - May 2, 2022
    Broadband Access Ohio Formed to Promote High-Speed Internet Across Ohio - Feb 16, 2022
    The Return of Virtual Open Meetings - Feb 11, 2022
    Sub. House Bill 126: Danger of Potential New Law to Prevent School Districts Ability to Challenge Property Tax Valuations - Dec 15, 2021
    Ohio SB 229 Gives School Districts Flexibility for Alternative Learning Models - Dec 6, 2021
    Ohio Department of Health Issues New COVID-19 Quarantine Guidance for Schools - Oct 26, 2021
    School Bus Stop-Arm Camera Laws: Safety Takes a Front Seat as Ohio Kids Head Back to Class - Sep 9, 2021
    HB 244 Prohibits COVID Vaccination Mandates in Public Schools - Jul 15, 2021
    New Funding, Mandates for K-12 Schools in Ohio’s Operating Budget - Jul 7, 2021
    The Requirement of In-Person Public Meetings Resumes - Jul 6, 2021
    Ohio Supreme Court Rules that School Employees Must Undergo Training in Order to Carry Firearms on School Grounds - Jun 25, 2021
    Supreme Court Rules in Favor of High School Student in First Amendment Dispute - Jun 24, 2021
    Eleventh Circuit Decision Creates Further Division Among Circuit Courts Regarding Website Accessibility and ADA - Apr 22, 2021
    HB 67 Provides Relief for Ohio School Districts in the 2020-2021 School Year - Mar 23, 2021
    Federal Government Makes Unexpected Announcement: States Must Administer Statewide Assessments in 2020-2021 School Year - Feb 24, 2021
    CDC Publishes New Guidance for the Reopening of Schools to In-person Learning - Feb 15, 2021
    Immunity Upheld for Teacher and School Officials on Parents’ Claims of Student Bullying - Jan 19, 2021
    Civil Immunity for Schools, Businesses, and Healthcare Providers Related to Coronavirus - Sep 16, 2020
    Ohio Supreme Court Grants Interim Revival of Madison Local’s Resolution to Allow Employees to Carry Concealed Weapons - Aug 28, 2020
    Federal District Court Judge Denies Request to Enjoin the Enactment of New Title IX Rule - Aug 17, 2020
    And the Wall Between Church and State Continues to Crumble Under the Weight of the High Court’s Decision in Espinoza v. Montana Dep't of Revenue Allowing State Money to Fund Sectarian Schools Through Scholarship Programs - Jun 30, 2020
    Ohio’s High Court Upholds the Constitutionality of H.B. 70’s Controversial School Takeover Law - May 18, 2020
    Armed School Personnel: A Judicial Update from the Twelfth District Court of Appeals - Apr 6, 2020
    To Evaluate or Not: Navigating Immediate and Future Implications of H.B. 197’s Provisions Regarding Teacher/Administrator Evaluations - Mar 31, 2020
    Ohio General Assembly Passes Emergency Legislation in Response to COVID-19 - Mar 26, 2020
    Open Meeting Act Guidance from Attorney General Dave Yost - Mar 15, 2020
    Ohio Governor Announces Additional Steps to Halt the Spread of COVID-19 - Mar 12, 2020
    Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Preparedness Guidance for Schools - Mar 10, 2020
    Whose Prayers Will Be Answered: Awaiting the High Court’s Decision on Religious School Choice in Espinoza v. Montana Dep't of Revenue, 2018 MT 306, 393 Mont. 446, 435 P.3d 603, cert. granted, 139 S. Ct. 2777, 204 L. Ed. 2d 1157 (2019) - Feb 6, 2020
    Legislative Priorities for 2020 - Jan 2, 2020
    Required Detail for Board Meeting Minutes - Jan 2, 2020
    Recommendations and Requirements for the Organizational Meeting of the Board of Education - Jan 2, 2020
    The Star System: How Will Your School District Rate? - Nov 26, 2019
    The Ohio Senate is Moving on ADC Reform - October 2019
    The Many Faces of Trauma: A National Epidemic Impacting Mental Health and Academic Success - October 2019
    Are School Districts Required to Accommodate Employees' Use of Medical Marijuana? - October 2019
    “Alianna’s Alert”: A Reminder to School Districts About Parent Notification - Aug 27, 2019
    FY 2020-2021 Ohio Biennial Budget Select Education Provisions - Jul 18, 2019
    When Pronouns Matter: Legal Issues Related to Transgender Students - Jan 7, 2019
    The Road to Success Widens for Students Planning to Graduate in 2019 and 2020 - Jan 3, 2019
    Taking the "Strict" Out of Treasurer Liability - Jan 2, 2019
    Copyright or Wrong? - Nov 2, 2018
    Least Restrictive Environment Placements: The Impact of the Endrew F. and L.H. Decisions - Aug 23, 2018
    Funding a Cause for Your Classroom: When Good Intentions Lead to Unforeseen Liabilities - Jul 12, 2018
    As the Summer Recess Approaches for the Ohio General Assembly Questions Remain Regarding 2019 Graduation Requirements for Schools - Jun 12, 2018
    Increased Focus for School Website Accessibility - Dec 4, 2017
    Student Expulsion Upheld for Off-Campus, Online Activity - Aug 21, 2017
    State Budget Wrap-Up: Extensive Public Policy and Funding Changes - What You Need to Know - Jul 3, 2017
    Alex Acosta Nominated for Secretary of Labor Position After Withdrawal of Andrew Puzder From Consideration - Feb 17, 2017
    Governor Kasich Releases $144 Billion State Budget Proposal - What You Need to Know - Jan 30, 2017
    Ohio Legislature Concludes 131st General Assembly in Marathon Session Lasting Until 3:30 AM Last Friday - Dec 12, 2016
    Tax Exemption of Board-Owned Real Estate - Feb 2, 2016
    Misuse of Public Funds for Levy Campaigns - Oct 26, 2015
    Charter School Reform Bill Heads to Governor for Signature - Oct 9, 2015
    GSP Renewed With Retroactive Effect / Importers Entitled to Duty Refund - Jul 30, 2015
    Unanticipated Legislation Impacting Failing Schools and Collective Bargaining Rights - Jun 26, 2015
    U.S. Supreme Court Determines Constitutional Right to Same-Sex Marriage - Jun 26, 2015
    Affordable Care Act's "Employer Mandate" Delayed in Part for Another Year - Feb 13, 2014
    Steubenville Superintendent and Others Indicted - Nov 27, 2013
    Public School Responsibilities to Students with Disabilities: Participation in Nonacademic and Extracurricular Activities - Feb 5, 2013
  2. Articles
    OCR Publishes New Guidance on Title IX Amendments - Winter 2021 - BASA AdminiScope
    School district's eminent domain plan may hinge on "necessity" definition - Aug 5, 2016 - CBA Today
  3. Podcast
    Legal Talk Today: HB 244 and Vaccine Considerations for School Districts - August 2021
  4. Firm News
    15 Roetzel Attorneys Named Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch - Aug 17, 2023
    Roetzel & Andress Earns Recognition in 2024 Best Lawyers - Aug 17, 2023
    Roetzel Adds Associates in Columbus & Cleveland - Jul 5, 2023
    Thomas B. Allen Joins Roetzel’s Employment Services Group in Cincinnati - Jun 9, 2023
    Roetzel Continues Strategic Growth with Addition of Over 30 Attorneys in 12 Months - Jan 3, 2023
    Roetzel Adds Shareholders Brian Fox and Nick Ziepfel to Public Law Group - Oct 10, 2022
    Roetzel Attorneys Recognized in 2023 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America® - Aug 18, 2022
    David Hirt Joins Roetzel’s Employment Services Group in Cleveland - Dec 7, 2021
    Roetzel & Andress Named to 2022 “Best Law Firms” List - Nov 4, 2021
    Roetzel Continues Growth with Addition of Adrienne Kirshner in Cleveland - Sep 23, 2021
    74 Roetzel Attorneys Named 2022 Best Lawyers in America®; 18 Recognized as Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch - Aug 19, 2021
    Susan Keating Anderson Named Chair of Roetzel’s Education Law Group - Apr 15, 2021
    Roetzel & Andress Ranked Among “Best Law Firms” by U.S. News – Best Lawyers® - Nov 5, 2020
    Eleven Roetzel & Andress Attorneys Selected to Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch - Aug 20, 2020
    Seventy Roetzel Attorneys Named to 2021 The Best Lawyers in America© List; Ten Named “Lawyer of the Year” - Aug 20, 2020
    Roetzel & Andress Ranked Among Nation’s 2020 “Best Law Firms” by U.S. News — Best Lawyers® - Nov 1, 2019
    Roetzel & Andress Ranked in 2018 "Best Law Firms" List - Nov 2, 2017
    Roetzel & Andress Ranked in 2017 "Best Law Firms" - Nov 1, 2016
    Roetzel & Andress Ranked in 2016 "Best Law Firms" - Nov 2, 2015
    Roetzel & Andress Welcomes Two to Public Law Group - Sep 2, 2015
  5. Event
    Trending Events in Education Law: Part One of a Three-Part Legal & Legislative Update Series - Jun 13, 2024