Charter Schools

What We Do

DWK provides vigorous advocacy of charter authorizers with regard to the legal compliance, transparency, and accountability issues created by charter schools in California. Unlike other education law firms, DWK prides itself on representing only authorizers, to ensure that its representation is free from influences created by representing charter schools. Areas of focused expertise include:

Petition Review and Assessment

  • Reviewing the legal sufficiency of charter school petitions in all areas including students, personnel, governance, facilities, special education, and business operations
  • Providing recommendations for denying charter schools that do not meet statutory standards, and preparing written findings to support a charter denial
  • Assisting authorizers on whether, and on what terms, to approve or renew a charter school, and preparing strong operating agreements that provide the authorizer with tools to ensure it can meet oversight requirements


Oversight and Operational Guidance

  • Advising authorizers on their legally required supervisory and oversight responsibilities, including board and staff training and local policy development
  • Analyzing and reviewing operational problems, compliance questions, and fiscal improprieties; developing remedies and approaches for an authorizer when problems arise during a charter’s term


Facilities Requests and Compliance

  • Assisting in analyzing and responding to facilities requests, developing use agreements, and monitoring compliance with facilities requirements during the charter term
  • Negotiating alternative approaches to meeting Proposition 39 requirements to accommodate the school district’s facilities situation


Investigation and Revocation

  • Investigating alleged non-compliant conduct and work with law enforcement and administrative agencies to address illegal practices
  • Identifying and resolving problems in order to maintain a charter school’s operation and avoid revocation
  • Where revocation is necessary, helping the authorizer conduct revocation proceedings
  • Providing litigation support services, if needed


Charter Schools – the DWK Way

  • We represent only charter authorizers to ensure that our advocacy of authorizer interests is uncompromised. Districts never wonder where our loyalties lie.
  • We believe that only the most operationally sound charters deserve approval. Once a charter is approved, we assist authorizers in holding charter schools accountable for meeting requirements of state and federal law, achieving the educational improvement and program opportunities the law requires, preserving and protecting taxpayer funds, and promoting the interests of authorizers.
  • As a known leader in this complex area of practice, we are often at the center of legislative discussions about charters, lending legal expertise to policymakers, legislators and other industry impact groups as new laws and regulations are being crafted. We often know what’s on the horizon before it hits.
  • High impact litigation protecting authorizer rights is one of our specialties. Our record of success in critically important charter cases is unparalleled.

Sample Trainings and In-Services

  • Navigating the New Charter Petition Process
  • Charter Oversight: Recognizing and Addressing Equity of Access Issues
  • Charter Schools and Special Education – Blueprint for Charter Authorizers
  • A Master Plan for Compliance Fraud Prevention
  • Navigating the Perils of Proposition 39

Interested in scheduling a training for your team?