Research demonstrates that teacher quality is a powerful predictor of student performance. We provide school districts with the legal support to effectively evaluate and remediate both instructional and non-instructional staff. If necessary, we prosecute teacher non-renewals, terminations and cancellations under Nebraska's teacher tenure laws.
We routinely assist school districts in defending against claims of civil rights violations based on prohibited characteristics such as race, sex, age, disability and religion. We advise boards of education in collective bargaining and have represented many boards before the Nebraska Commission of Industrial Relations.
We also assist in resolving problems related to classified staff employment including issues related to the Fair Labor Standards Act, unemployment compensation, workers' compensation or failure-to-hire allegations.
We provide our clients a wide range of employment-related document review, including suggested board policies related to employment, staff handbooks, employment contracts for administrators, teachers and classified staff, employment application forms, and the like.
We represent school districts in a wide-range of legal issues related to both general education and special education students.
KSB attorneys are leaders in providing legal assistance to schools on issues related to student bullying and cyberbullying. We have successfully defended schools against claims of deliberate indifference and related bullying and cyberbullying claims.
We have extensive experience in matters related to Nebraska Student Discipline Act, including the suspension, expulsion and mandatory reassignment of students. We advise clients on issues related to the unique needs of court-involved students. We also advise educators on state and federal law related to student records and school safety.
Our attorneys are nationally-recognized experts in special education matters. We advise districts on compliance with the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. We have represented schools in due process hearings and federal litigation related to the rights of students with disabilities.
We defend schools in federal investigations, including investigations by the Office for Civil Rights of the US Department of Education and the Family Privacy Compliance Office concerning complaints alleging violations of Title IX, FERPA, IDEA, Section 504 and other federal laws.
Construction, Contracts, & Bids
Schools are often the largest employer and purchaser of goods and services in town. Whether it’s purchasing or lease-purchasing computers, copiers, or _______; hiring an administrator, teacher, or classified staff member; entering into an Interlocal agreement; or retaining an HVAC company to service the school’s equipment, school districts engage in numerous transactions that include contracts that should be subject to a diligent review by an experienced eye. We’ll help your board and administration build a contract that is legally compliant, fits your school’s needs, and that holds your vendors and service providers accountable.
KSB has assisted school districts and joint public agencies with a variety of projects, ranging from small (construction of bus barns and parking lots) to large (construction of a new school and joint fitness center projects). The cost of these projects ranges from as low as $100,000 up to multi-million dollar undertakings, included many bonded projects. The projects have been completed using the design-bid-build, construction management at risk, and design-build methods of construction, and were financed using bonds, building funds, or general and building funds through lease-purchase agreements.
Our role includes educating and advising the board and administration about the construction methods available; construction financing options; assistance with the public bidding process, including the preparation of requests for proposals, invitations for bids, requests for qualifications, contracts, and any other necessary documents; negotiating contracts with design professionals, contractors, and their attorneys; and assisting schools when disputes arise, including informal dispute resolution, mediation, and litigation. We take great pride in helping our clients get their facility deals completed within their budget and without unnecessary delays or “over-lawyering.”
Open Meetings, School Records, & School Governance
As political subdivisions, school boards of education are subject to a tremendous number of rules and regulations. The state statutes with which boards of education must comply include the Nebraska Open Meetings Act, the Nebraska Public Records statutes, and the Political Accountability and Disclosure Act. We help simplify compliance with these laws while also assisting boards in navigating through a changing information landscape that includes electronic communication, cloud computing and records storage.
Our attorneys are also experienced in addressing the important school district governance issues, including:
- Boardsmanship (How to be a High Functioning board)
- Election Issues
- Patron Complaints
- Levy Overrides
- School District Reorganization (Mergers & Unifications)
- Management of Personnel, Student and other Records