Education

Overview

Building on our long-time leadership representing education reform initiatives, Dykema’s Government Policy and Practice team has developed an active prenatal to age 20 (P-20) Education practice advising a wide array of educational industry clients on how to achieve their business goals. Our government policy attorneys work closely with attorneys in our Health Care, Employment and Corporate Finance practice groups to provide our clients with comprehensive legal and legislative services.

We have assisted clients in drafting complex education reform legislation and have successfully lobbied state and federal decision makers to adopt their positions. We succeed for our education clients because we understand the broader issues affecting the education field and how they play into the policymaking and regulatory processes.

Our team, with its extensive policy background and relationships, provides regulatory and government policy advice beneficial to all categories of education-related entities:

  • Charter schools and independent public authorizing bodies
  • Private companies doing business with P-20 educational institutions
  • Higher education institutions, including state public universities, community colleges (both public and tribally controlled community colleges) and private institutions
  • Education foundations and trade associations
  • School Districts and Intermediate School Districts
  • Supplemental education service providers
  • Distance learning providers

Experience

  • Involved with the creation of the Michigan Educational Achievement Authority, a statewide education authority (EAA). The EAA, which is part of Governor Rick Snyder’s educational reform initiatives, will be responsible for educating students in Southeast Michigan along with students from various schools statewide that are part of the State’s school reform/ school redesign district. Our attorneys were involved with the development of the interlocal agreement and the drafting of the transfer agreement between the State School Reform/ School Redesign District, as well as the drafting of implementation legislation for the EAA.
  • Assisted in the creation and reauthorization of over 150 Michigan charter schools. As part of our representation of charter school authorizing bodies, our education attorneys assist clients that oversee the creation of new and reauthorized charter schools. We advise our clients on the charter school application process, public board selection process, compliance and funding issues, real estate and finance matters, the development of charter school contract terms and conditions and the counseling of clients on a number of state and federal statutory and regulatory requirements.
  • Our education attorneys are regularly retained by clients to draft legislation on a number of educational regulatory and funding issues. We have been involved with the drafting of significant education reform legislation, including the charter school law (both the original statute and subsequent amendments), urban high school academy and schools of excellence, which include high performing high schools, cyber charter schools and conversion charter schools. We also drafted legislation permitting school districts to contract for substitute teachers.
  • Regularly represent and advise corporations and private company clients doing business with the State of Michigan and K-12 public education system. We are involved in all phases of state and local contract procurement and development for our clients, including the negotiation and drafting of many agreements. Our services include advising client on various legal and regulatory requirements, including public bidding requirements, freedom of information act, open meetings act, conflicts of interest laws, state ethics, lobby and registration requirements and other state regulatory and legal requirements.
  • Involved with the drafting of executive order creating the Michigan Public Educational Finance Authority (MPEFA) which provides short and long-term financing opportunities for public schools across the State. In addition, our Corporate Finance attorneys are involved with MPEFA and other school district financings on a regular basis.
  • Our attorneys have significant experience in higher education law. We are involved in many different legal issues involving our state public universities and community colleges, including representing and advising on constitutional issues, litigation matters, public employment and collective bargaining matters, public finance and bond matters, real estate transactions and intellectual property issues. We have also assisted state public universities on a number of unique issues, from mergers and acquisitions of academic programs to the organization and accreditation of medical schools.

Speaking Engagements