The Great Neck Public Schools Board of Education is considering a revision of its Policy on School Attorney. At the board's Dec. 15 public action meeting, Board Vice President Fran Langsner, chair of the board's policy committee, said that the revision is required by New York State law. Ms. Langsner said that the revisions were proposed following a recent review of the committee.
Ms. Langsner further explained that the policy is being amended, basically, to include the superintendent of schools (or superintendent's "designee"), as well as board of education members as those permitted to "direct" the school attorney in his or her capacity as legal advisor to the board.
The Policy on School Attorney, originally adopted on Nov. 3, 2003, is proposed to read as follows:
"The Board of Education will appoint a school attorney of record for the district. The attorney must be admitted to the Bar of New York State. The attorney will be the legal advisor to the board. In that capacity, the attorney's duties, as directed by the board, superintendent, or designee, shall include but not be limited to:
Advising the board with respect to legal matters relating to the district, including, but not limited to, interpretation of the education Law of the State of New York, and other statutes, rules or regulations affecting the district;
Being easily accessible to the board, the superintendent of schools, and administrative staff designated by the superintendent, with respect to legal matters issuing out of the day-to-day administration of the district;
Reviewing and representing the district in the preparation of contracts;
Advising and assisting in matters of litigation pursuant to the retainer agreement;
Reviewing any current, pending, or proposed rules, regulations, procedures, policies, or documents; and
Reviewing and advising with respect to any process served upon the district.
"In addition to the annual retainer, the attorney may be reasonably compensated for other such duties as many be determined by the Board of Education.
"The board, at is discretion, may employ special counsel for any and all legal services if deems necessary."
Since this was only a first reading of the revised policy, it must be read in public at least two more times before possible adoption. The policy will be heard for a second reading at the board's Jan. 26 public action meeting.