A local school board’s membership in KSBA provides the board, school board members and school district officials, in their respective official capacities in carrying out functions on behalf of the board, as well as school district attorneys (referred to collectively below as “KSBA constituents”) with access to limited legal consultation with KSBA’s staff attorneys.
The Kentucky School Boards Association’s Legal Services team provides legal consultation and resources to help board members understand and carry out their responsibilities in an increasingly complex legal environment. KSBA attorneys also work closely with the Policy and Procedures services to help prepare compliant model policies and procedures and to provide advice and consultation internally and to KSBA constituents regarding the policies and procedures.
KSBA's legal team provides limited legal consultations to KSBA constituents, on school law topics and issues, including, but not limited to:
- Open Meetings/Open Records
- Board member eligibility, conflicts and school board governance
- Student discipline and student records
- Student searches/drug testing
- Certified and classified employee rights and discipline, including the Teachers’ Tenure Act, KRS 161.011 (classified employees’ employment rights) and corresponding case law
- Case law and Attorney General opinions/decisions on school law issues
- General policy, procedure, legislative and regulatory school law issues
- Charter school law and applications
KSBA’s attorneys provide this legal consultation to the aforementioned constituents subject to applicable legal ethics rules, including those covering attorney client privilege and confidentiality. KSBA member boards and school district leadership should understand that consultation and advice from KSBA attorneys on specific inquiries must be limited. Due to the number of KSBA constituents and corresponding number of inquiries, KSBA attorneys are not in a position to fully investigate all of the background or specific factual circumstances or to be familiar with key decision makers and the full ramifications of any given specific decision or course of action regarding legal questions that are posed, KSBA attorneys will endeavor to utilize their school law experience to provide accurate and reliable legal background information and answers on the applicable law but are not in position to provide definitive advice on specific legal questions or representation in administrative or judicial forums. Similarly, KSBA attorneys are not in a position to review or opine on specific transactional or legal documents (other than policy and procedure preparation as described above). Advice on such issues should be obtained from school district attorneys who are in a position to fully explore all the relevant facts and circumstances and to be attuned to the factors discussed above.
In certain situations, legal or organizational conflicts may prevent KSBA attorneys from engaging in consultation. This may include disputes between member boards or conflicts between and among KSBA constituents. In such cases, KSBA attorneys will inform KSBA constituents so that they may consider consulting school district counsel or individual private counsel as appropriate.
KSBA’s attorneys serve KSBA, the organizational legal client, and its members. Because KSBA’s attorneys serve KSBA and its member school boards, KSBA cannot provide legal advice or consultation to parents or other members of the public because that would potentially create a conflict of interest for the KSBA attorneys. Similarly, KSBA’s attorneys do not provide legal consultation or advice to employees of a district about their employment rights or other individual circumstances. Occasionally, KSBA’s attorneys provide general information publicly or to the public on school board membership questions (such as information on board member candidacy, elections, qualifications, and authority). This description of the legal consultation services provided by KSBA’s attorneys to KSBA constituents is intended to serve as notice of the limits on the scope and duration of the legal consultation services provided to members of the KSBA organizational client under the legal ethics rules of Kentucky.
KSBA constituents may contact KSBA’s attorneys for legal consultation at (800) 372-2962.