CSBA’s District and County Office of Education Legal Services Program is here

CSBA’s new Legal Services program gives school districts and county offices of education access to CSBA attorneys who can provide confidential legal services at an affordable price.ell Award-winning Summer STEM Academy may be needed now more than ever.

oard members and district and COE staff are accustomed to reaching out to CSBA’s team of experts in the legal office, governmental relations and policy for guidance on tough issues and complex questions. We pride ourselves on responding with helpful information and general guidance, but when the questions called for legal advice, our hands were tied. Without an attorney–client relationship between CSBA attorneys and our members, we were unable to provide confidential advice and services. That has all changed with the introduction of our newest program.

For the first time in CSBA history, our attorneys can provide confidential legal services to subscribing members through an attorney–client relationship. From advice and counsel to independent investigations, our CSBA attorneys are here to provide your local educational agency with the confidential legal services you need, at a price you can afford.

The Legal Services program is a subscription-based service that provides members with access to CSBA attorneys who can deliver legal services on issues that affect the general and common interests and rights of California public school districts. Typical services may include:

  • Advice and counsel
  • Independent investigations
  • Board governance consulting
  • Disciplinary actions
  • Student matters
  • Conflict resolution
  • California Public Records Act request assistance
  • Brown Act consulting
  • Contract review
  • Opinion drafting

The program is available for any CSBA member — even if they already have legal counsel. However, Legal Services is especially useful for small school districts, according to Bob Tuerck, CSBA Chief Legal Counsel. “As a former trustee from a rural community, I think this program is particularly great for smaller districts that don’t have attorneys on staff or large legal budgets to get advice on day-to-day legal questions,” Tuerck said.

In fact, one of the very first districts to join Legal Services was the Valle Lindo School District, which serves just over 1,000 students in the city of South El Monte. Despite their small size, Valle Lindo faces the same legal challenges as larger LEAs in surrounding areas, but without the resources larger districts have. As a small school district, Valle Lindo knows the importance of reliable legal services at an affordable price. The District and County Office of Education Legal Services program was designed to provide just that.

In this last week I’ve realized the power of receiving legal advice directly from the organization that is in constant contact with California’s legislation. It’s invaluable. The program allows our District quick access to CBAs, MOUs, and salary schedules for our neighboring districts, which is beneficial for our negotiations process.

—Dr. Cheryl Jordan, Superintendent, Milpitas USD

With low subscription rates and competitively low billable rates, the CSBA Legal Services program makes legal advice affordable for any budget. Cost will never be a barrier to reliable legal advice.

Whether your LEA is small, large or somewhere in between, CSBA’s Legal Services program has the legal support you need. In addition, subscribers also receive access to our online Resource Library with thousands of CBAs, MOUs, salary schedules, legal guidance documents and case updates. Users have on-demand access to curated legal content for a variety of education-related legal topics. Our library allows users to filter documents based on subject, save, download and share documents within their agency. Having on-demand access to salary schedules and MOUs for surrounding districts, providing additional insight for negotiations. Knowing what other LEAs have negotiated will not only help at the bargaining table, it can also be useful for developing recruiting strategies. Even LEAs that already have in-house attorneys or outside legal counsel can reap the benefits of this collective knowledge.

For more information, or to get a subscription quote for your district or county office of education, email legalservices@csba.org, or visit our website at legalservices.csba.org.