Because of charter schools, thousands of students get to learn in classrooms that aren’t over crowded. More students also get to be taught by teachers who come from backgrounds that are similar to theirs. These two steps alone have been shown to improve learning. “A cultural mismatch between teachers and the children they teach can result in uncomfortable classroom experiences for some children and teachers,” according to Education.
Lack of cultural similarity and understanding can cause problems that extend beyond direct student/teacher interactions. It can also create communication gaps between teachers, school administrators and parents. To avoid these problems and other challenges (i.e. accreditation, providing adequate support for disabled students, funding, building scale) specific to charter schools, administrators in large cities with diverse populations are bringing NYC charter school attorneys on board.
In addition to working with NYC charter school attorneys to develop privacy, classroom and disciplinary written policies and procedures, charter school administrators are meeting with attorneys to review and upgrade their efforts to increase student enrollment. For years, administrators focused on building and increasing student enrollment prior to starting a new charter school.
Yet, in effort to grow their student populations, more charter schools are taking steps to communicate their benefits to parents in the communities they serve. NYC charter school attorneys may not be called to get involved in the process unless school administrators start pushing for parent trigger laws. These laws make it easier for traditional public schools to be converted into charter schools.
Converting traditional schools into charter schools is an effective way to grow the overall population at charter schools. It’s part of the reason why the charter school population has grown from 0.3 to 1.8 million from 1999 to 2011. But, that doesn’t mean the conversion will be easy. Law firms like Cohen Schneider & O’Neill know that to convert public schools to charter schools requires that administrators create a strong mission, identify which agencies the school will report up to and identify if and how vouchers will be used.
It’s these types of challenges a new charter school in Wilmington, North Carolina is having to deal with. According to Star News Online, “Judy Girard, a former HGTV & Food Network president and vice chairwoman of Young Women Leading Inc., announced plans for the all-girls school Thursday morning at the Greater Wilmington Business Journal’s Power Breakfast.” Not only will attorneys working with these school’s administrators have to help devise transportation, academic grade scaling, etc. policies for regular school hours, they will also have to advise administrators on setting up afterschool and summer programs.
Because the school is targeting underprivileged girls, it will have to find ways to legally raise money to pay for books, equipment and to afford to its students to offsite academic and cultural programs. Some NYC charter school attorneys have been brought in to help build similar schools, partly because the lawyers have vast experience completing and filing charter applications and petitions and developing corporate documents.
Board governance, special education and child custody issues are other items that charter school administrators need experienced attorneys to help them with. There’s also probably zero charter schools that don’t have to develop policies around real estate leasing, purchasing school facilities and applying for tax exemption status.