What's it like to work with F3?
Count on F3’s Government Affairs and Public Policy team to understand your unique goals and challenges and become your trusted advisor – the one you can call any time for responsive and knowledgeable answers and solutions that always consider the law but also make sure your decisions are based on what’s the best path forward in addition to the law.
What can F3 solve for you?
Our team’s goal is to read the horizon by monitoring state and federal legislation, to see what’s coming so we can ready not only our clients, but also the F3 attorneys who advise clients on policy, best practices, and, of course, compliance. While other education-focused California law firms will tell you what the law requires, F3 goes far beyond.
“With so many issues in education – many of them novel and/or contentious – this is a more important time than ever for educators to gain the ability to see ahead and around corners, and to put their stamp as educators on policies that may be developed far away or by those not devoted 100% to education.”– Terilyn Finders, Chief Client Services Officer
It’s no secret that public education today is a more complicated business than ever. Dynamic politics, ever-changing government regulations, new technologies, and evolving demographics combine with the daily operational needs of our schools and our true mission, preparing millions of California students for the future. Our job is to engage our considerable resources to see what policymakers have in store for California schools and help you prepare – something that’s essential yet often hard for school administrators and boards to find the time to do. While most law firms will help keep you in compliance, we think that’s just a baseline, and true client service goes much further – from keeping you apprised of new or proposed legislation to tracking the local political winds.
We have monitored and advised both our attorneys and clients regarding emerging legislation in online instruction, health policies, education technology, student privacy rights, cybersecurity, labor and employment policies, environmental concerns (including water and air testing for safety), energy conservation in schools, mental health support services, and gender identity.
Tracking the trends and advising on having an impact
Things began to change dramatically for California schools with the 1978 passage of California Proposition 13, which shifted the 100-year-old system of local control over how to spend funds for schools and how to educate and evaluate students to state policymakers. In other words, affecting education policy shifted from the local school board to Sacramento. One of our Government Affairs and Public Policy team members has more than 30 years of post-Prop. 13 leadership in shaping policies for California educators. We do not advocate directly with legislators, but we closely track legislative trends, aided by our long experience and deep connections within the legislative and policymaking community. We are California’s leading resource on educational legislation and policy and regularly inform clients on how to ensure their voice is heard regarding legislation.
F3’s broad network of resources
F3s has an extensive network of resources developed over many years that help keep our team informed. We are in the field attending meetings and doing the research. Among our resources are the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the State Board of Education, the California Department of Public Health, the Governor’s office, statewide education associations, the U.S. Department of Education, and other statewide and federal agencies. We familiarize ourselves with the newly elected state legislators and committee chairs and learn about their views on education issues. We look at the legislative intent when bills are introduced and their rationale, which is not always evident in the bill’s language, and advise clients accordingly.
Advising education associations
In addition to keeping our school district clients updated on what’s around the corner, we also work closely with education associations such as the following, which rely on F3 to assist with the review of draft legislation, including:
- Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) (the largest umbrella organization for school leaders in the United States)
- California Association of School Business Officials (CASBO) (promotes excellence and professionalism in school business management)
- National Council of School Attorneys (COSA) (advocates for equity and excellence in public education through school board leadership
- California School Boards Association (CSBA) /California Council of School Attorneys (CCSA) (members provides leadership in legislative, political, judicial, community, and media accuracy)
- California County Superintendents (CCA) (county superintendents advocate for high-quality education in California)
We recently worked with ACSA and CSBA to create an annual national advocacy trip to Washington, bringing speakers such as the heads of agencies, pollsters, board members and superintendents, and others to inform Congress of California’s priorities in education policy.