Education Law

Name any education-related issue, and we have achieved quality results while representing the largest school district and educators in Florida, including:

  • The Miami-Dade County School Board;
  • The Broward County School Board;
  • The Collier County School Board;
  • The Florida Department of Community Affairs; and
  • The Sarasota and Walton Counties and their school boards;

These legal issues include concurrency, land use, eminent domain and defense of bid protest and school facilities litigation. We have also represented charter schools from formation through operation.

In addition to representing schools and school boards, we have also acted as special counsel for several state agencies and institutions of higher learning concerning education matters and other public/private partnerships (P3) and ventures.

These matters include:

  • Eminent domain;
  • Complex civil rights;
  • Construction;
  • General civil litigation;
  • Labor disputes and negotiations;
  • General real estate acquisition;
  • Leasing and financing; as well as
  • Zoning and concurrency issues.

These agencies include the Florida Board of Governors (f/k/a the Florida Board of Regents), Florida Department of Transportation, Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Miami-Dade College, Florida Memorial College, Miami-Dade Expressway Authority (MDX) and the South Florida Water Management District.

We know how to get things done in a cost-effective manner, relying on a combination of our talent, work ethic and integrity, along with our long-standing personal relationship with staff and elected or appointed officials.  We work in close cooperation with staff and officials to ensure that local government,agencies and boards, meet the legal responsibilities and mandates of local, State and Federal law.  We understand that our role is to counsel and assist those officials by providing a legal framework for decision making, thus enabling them to meet their responsibilities and earn their constituents’ confidence and trust.

We have success  in public school concurrency and intergovernmental coordination related to school planning and school citing in Florida. A brief example of some of our work includes:

Broward County School Concurrency

We were on the team that drafted the original public school concurrency plan in the State for the Broward County School District and defended litigation in coordination with Broward County to share in its efforts to be the first school district to implement school concurrency in the State of Florida.

School Interlocal Agreements - 2003

We represented several local governments in three South Florida counties concerning the statutory requirement for all school districts to enter into school interlocal agreements with the county and with other non-exempt local governments. We also represented one municipality that refused to execute the agreement, resulting in the Department of Community Affairs issuing a show cause order; we negotiated a settlement of that dispute with the school district and the Department. We have also represented many of these local governments in meetings of the school staff working groups that developed policy and implemented the agreements.

Voluntary Mitigation for School Impacts

We have represented several municipalities in relation to the voluntary mitigation policies imposed by Miami-Dade County School District and Broward County School District.

Joint Use Agreement for School Facilities

We represented the Town of Bay Harbor Islands in its efforts to design and develop a joint-use project with the Miami-Dade County School District for an elementary school.

Homestead Educational Facilities Benefit District

We represented the City of Homestead in the development of the State's second Educational Facilities Benefit District (EFBD).

Advising the Department of Community Affairs

We were a member of the consulting team that advised the Department on the implementation of public school concurrency.  That work involved preparation of a Best Practices Guide for Public School Concurrency, a Model Public School Concurrency Management System Ordinance, and a Model Public School Concurrency Proportionate Share Mitigation Agreement.

School Concurrency Pilot Communities

We  advised Sarasota and Walton Counties on the revisions to their school interlocal agreements and the adoption of public school facilities elements that comply with SB 360’s requirements for public school concurrency.

Miami-Dade County School Board

School Impact Fee

We represented the City of Homestead, and other cities in Miami-Dade County, on the school staff working group in its review and assessment of the proposed update to this school impact fee.

School Concurrency Task Force

We advised the task force created by the Miami-Dade County School District to address school concurrency.