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Independent K-12 Schools
Navigating Issues Unique to the Independent School Landscape

While independent K-12 schools do not always have to comply with the same laws and regulations as public schools that receive federal, state and local funding, they have their own unique set of issues with which they must contend. 

Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr attorneys are well-versed in counseling independent K-12 schools. We advise them on a variety of matters, such as:  internal investigations; board governance; labor and employment; tax; policies; real estate; crisis management; disputes and litigation; student discipline; student housing; and academic, medical and disability accommodations.

Our team regularly:

  • Advises and counsels private school boards on governance, endowment and investment issues.
  • Assists independent schools with all aspects of employee relations, including drafting and reviewing contracts, reviewing and revising employee handbooks/policies, advising on benefits and related issues, and defending schools in related litigation and administrative matters.
  • Assists regarding compliance with applicable state and federal school laws, and handles compliance audits and government investigations.
  • Advises, and when necessary defends, schools on a multitude of student issues, including student discipline, student housing, mental health issues, accommodations and study abroad programs.
  • Reviews and advises schools on vendor contracts. 
  • Handles a variety of tax matters for schools, including tax appeals, tax credits, and federal IRS 501(c)(3) requirements for tax-exempt status.
  • Advises on legal and public aspects of media relations when managing crises.
  • Represents schools on development and financing matters, including the purchase and/or lease of facilities, tax-exempt bond financing, partnerships with foundations, and loan guaranties.
  • Handles high-profile, in-the-media investigations into allegations of current or historic misconduct on campus.

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