Our Practice

Charter Schools

Practice Contact: Preston J. Castille, Jr.

Taylor Porter attorneys represent and advise charter schools, charter school boards, and charter school advocacy organizations in the emerging and developing, but yet challenging and complex field of charter school law.

More than 3 million students attend, and more than 129,000 teachers are employed at 6,900 charter schools nationwide. There are 44 states, including the District of Columbia, that have enacted a charter school law, and there is a total of $333 million in federal funding that has been dedicated to those schools, according to the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. 

Charter schools are independently-operated public schools that operate under a contract with a charter school authorizer, typically a nonprofit, government agency, or university that holds them accountable to standards outlined in their charter. Louisiana’s Charter School Law was enacted in 1995 (Act 192), and since the law went into effect, 146 schools have been classified as charter schools with 84,400 students attending those schools.

Although charter schools are exempt from many of the requirements imposed by state and local boards of education, charter schools must comply with state laws governing public entities, including the Code of Ethics, Open Meetings Law, Local Government Budget Act, Public Records Act, and Public Bid Law, among others. Charter schools must also comply with policies set by their authorizer. Taylor Porter attorneys, therefore, represent and advise charter schools regarding board governance, ethics, and open-meetings, and work with charter school administrators to review and negotiate contracts and operating agreements with businesses, vendors and state and local education agencies.

Our additional practice area representation and experience in charter school law includes:

  • Charter school application and renewal process
  • Proper formation of a legal entity
  • Acquisition, construction, and equipping of facilities utilized by charter schools
  • Monitoring and analyzing federal, state and local laws and regulations that affect charter schools
  • State and federal civil litigation
  • Lobbying at the local and state level
  • Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) Compliance
  • Open Meetings, Open Records, and Freedom of Information Act
  • Civil Rights Litigation and Constitutional Claims

In addition to following policies set forth in their charters, charter school administrators are often faced with a myriad of other legal concerns crossing over into other practice areas, and Taylor Porter’s charter school attorneys work with and consult with representatives from our multidisciplinary base of practice areas to ease and resolve those matters. These representative matters can include:

  • Education issues, including faculty, staff and student relationships, civil service, procurement, public financing contracts, property, contract confection and negotiation, campus records, research confidentiality, claims under Title VII, Title IX and the Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, church/state relations and free speech issues, technology transfer and numerous other public law issues regarding elementary, secondary, and higher education.
  • Labor and Employment issues, and staffing concerns, including hirings, wage issues, overtime policies, dismissals, and working with administrators to develop manuals and handbooks, including affirmative action plans and sexual harassment policies and procedures, and drug-testing policies and procedures.
  • Taxation, financing and bonding issues, including charter school tax-exempt status, filings with the IRS, and private donations, bank loans, and tax credit, and bond opportunities.
  • Real estate, land use and facility-use arrangement issues, including negotiating of leases with property owners for commercial real estate and property
  • Construction issues for any new charter schools or renovations to existing charter schools, and working with general contractors on various contract concerns

In addition to practicing charter school law and representing our charter school clients, Taylor Porter attorneys serve on boards for public charter schools and charter school advocacy organizations. Taylor Porter Partner Preston Castille, who serves as the National President of the Southern University Alumni Federation, volunteers as Chairman of the Board of Directors of New Schools for Baton Rouge, and he is a member of the Mentorship Academy School Board. Taylor Porter Partner and Diversity Committee Chair Katia Bowman is a board member of IDEA Public Schools Louisiana, Inc., and Taylor Porter Associate Ne’Shira Millender is a board member of Volunteers in Public Schools.


44 States with charter schools
1995 Year charter public school law was enacted in Louisiana
146 Number of Louisiana charter schools in 2017
84,400 Number of Louisiana charter school students in 2017

Source: National Alliance for Public Charter Schools

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