Business and Property

What We Do

School and community college district operations provide the foundation for a sound educational program. If your questions involve district resources, funds, real property and other assets, DWK attorneys are ready to help. Forty years of experience dedicated to the practice of education law makes DWK uniquely qualified to provide full-service support to districts – from business operations to transportation, maintenance, facilities, and nutrition services. A sampling of areas of support includes:

Business and Procurement

  • Draft, review, and negotiate business, vendor, and consultant contracts
  • Counsel on purchasing and public bidding procedures and compliance
  • Consult on food service, transportation, maintenance, and risk management policies, practices, and contracting procedures
  • Prepare bid documents and resolve bid protests
  • Negotiate energy services agreements, including solar PPAs and other energy efficiency projects
  • Form and manage joint powers agencies and school-related nonprofits, foundations, and booster clubs
  • Enforce contracts in the event of breaches or disputes in performance
  • Prosecute and defend contract actions in court


Funding & Revenue Management

  • Pursue parcel tax elections and collections
  • Impose and collect developer fees, including defense of the district in the event of fee protests or legal disputes with developers and agencies, and assist in compliance with reporting requirements
  • Obtain local and state funding for school sites and capital projects
  • Negotiate mitigation agreements and strategies, including formation of CFDs
  • Manage private donor agreements and relationships
  • Act as bond counsel on tax-exempt debt issuances
  • Defend district financial management if challenged by the county grand jury, state auditor, or members of the public

Real Property and Environmental Concerns

  • Acquire land through negotiated purchase or eminent domain
  • Obtain necessary state approvals for land acquisition and construction
  • Assist in the evaluation and implementation of teacher/workforce housing
  • Support districts in the sale, lease or development of surplus property
  • Ensure compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), including defense of the district against legal challenges under CEQA; Provide guidance on hazardous substance removal/clean-up actions and other environmental laws and regulations to ensure safety of sites
  • Deal with the legal, practical and political issues raised by school closures
  • Pursue or defend against territory transfers and other reorganizations
  • Advise regarding joint ventures with private-sector developers or nonprofit organizations
  • Negotiate joint use agreements, leases, easements, licenses and other use agreements with organizations and agencies; implement and manage Civic Center Act facility use programs

Business and Property – the DWK Way

  • We know that sound operations provide the foundation for your programs and success. Our focus is on finding efficient and practical ways to keep district operations running smoothly and to maximize opportunities for successful ventures and programs.
  • Our goal is to build staff knowledge, capacity, and self-sufficiency in handling common legal concerns. We offer numerous, easy-to-use, “best practice” publications, advisories, and forms of agreements to help you refine your questions and reduce the need to outsource common tasks to legal counsel.
  • DWK does not represent private contractors, service providers, or developers, thus ensuring that our advocacy of your interests is uncompromised.
  • When circumstances aren’t straightforward or don’t go as planned, our experts can craft sophisticated solutions through negotiations or, if needed, litigation. We are experts at helping you and the Board understand and manage complex situations.

Sample Trainings and In-Services

  • Examining Various Property Use Schemes to Make Your School Sites Work for You
  • Not In My Backyard! CEQA Compliance and Community Relations
  • Developer Fee Alphabet Soup: From ADUs to SGRs
  • School District Workforce Housing: Best Practices & Tips for Navigating the Complexities of Housing Development
  • When Opportunity Knocks: How to Make Your School Sites Work for You
  • Technology Planning and Procurement for School Districts – Basics of Procuring Technology Projects

Interested in scheduling a training for your team?