What's it like to work with F3?
F3 attorneys are known throughout the California education community for our breadth of public education knowledge and experience. But more than that, we’re known as the lawyers you want to call – any time – because our level of empathy, responsiveness, and thoughtfulness is especially suited to the business of education.
What can F3 solve for you?
Managing schools is a serious and complex business. Safe, modern facilities – properly funded, managed, and operated every day – provide the foundation for teaching and learning. As a full-service law firm devoted to excellence in education, F3 helps ensure your foundation is firm.
“While public school districts have big budgets, they have an even bigger responsibility when it comes to district students, staff, and their communities. We support district administrators in running the district’s business so they can focus on serving these students, staff, and community.”– Jim Traber, Partner
While schools are unique businesses in their primary purpose of educating students, they nevertheless have employees, budgets, real estate and facilities, governance, the need for efficient operation, and a wide array of legal obligations. F3, a recognized leader in public school district and higher education operations, creates strong working relationships and open communication with clients across the full range of procurement, business, finance, and facilities matters. We want to help you see past the stress by focusing on your options, which we present clearly. We’re as passionate about education as you are, so we dig in deep to help you stay focused on your mission – and passion: educating students. From ensuring compliance with the California Education Code, Public Contract Code, Government Code and Labor Code, and related regulations as well as district-specific environmental initiatives, long-term planning and infrastructure projects, and daily facility operations, we’ve got you covered.
Consider what it takes to operate schools efficiently and successfully. Compliance with federal, California law, and district policies regarding financing, procurement, employment, and environmental issues alone is sufficiently daunting to require the support of experienced counsel. Add the endless contracts for every type of good and service which must be tailored not only to what the law requires, but also to each district’s unique objectives and requirements. Complex technology acquisition and implementation present special challenges. Federal funding programs such as eRate , the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) require the attention of counsel that understands and can simply communicate how state and federal procurement requirements are jointly structured. Always guided by your goals, we’re here to get it done and done right. In other words, there’s a good reason why over half of all California school districts turn to F3.
The complexities of procurement
Procuring goods and services can be a complex process. F3 attorneys advise clients on every type and aspect of procurement from contracting architectural services when beginning a construction project to procuring operational supplies for a district’s schools, including technology-related services and products. The California Education Code, Government Code, and the Public Contract Code contain provisions regarding competitive bidding – the requirements and the exceptions – which are best understood by counsel who have advised hundreds of districts on procurement. We’ve helped districts with procurement strategies such as utilizing the California Multiple Award Schedules (CMAS), forming or using a Joint Powers Authority (JPA), piggy-backing, cooperative procurement, standardizing, and other approaches. And we can help identify reliable vendors, too, based on our shared experience throughout the firm. Rural districts, for example, may have more difficulty finding goods and services, so we often help them find what they need when a low bid may not work. So, while we have learned much from extensive experience and never have to “reinvent the wheel,” there are simply no cookie-cutter approaches to procurement; the foundation of F3’s counsel is a deep understanding of every client’s unique needs.
Finding the funding
Where will the funding come from for your district’s next project? When it comes to advising on the available financing tools, our decades of experience have taught us how to help you get the project done. For large capital projects, local bond funds, developer fees, parcel taxes, or the Mello-Roos taxes may be appropriate vehicles. For technology procurement, there are various federal programs available to help with funding. As with procuring goods and services, the means of structuring funding and advising on the ongoing use and maintenance of these funds depends on many variables. Our job is to make your job easier as you plan your district’s future and begin to make it happen.