Guiding Educational Institutions on State Authorization
Educational institutions at the K-12 and post-secondary levels must comply with a myriad of laws and regulations which vary greatly from state to state. As part of the regulatory process, state oversight agencies require educational institutions to meet and maintain certain standards in order to obtain authorization to operate within the state.
The attorneys in HMBR’s Education Practice have a firm understanding of the complex rules and regulations associated with state authorization processes, and our lawyers offer a wide range of services to help educational institutions fulfill state approval and licensure requirements. These services include:
K-12 State Authorization. HMBR lawyers work with K-12 institutions throughout the Chicago region and across the nation to ensure that their schools are meeting applicable state authorization requirements. These requirements encompass a broad range of activities as the various state oversight agencies set and enforce standards related to teacher training and qualification, student attendance, learning and assessment, school safety and student health, and curriculum development and implementation.
Post-Secondary Authorization. The attorneys in our Education Practice have extensive knowledge of the state authorization requirements applicable to post-secondary institutions. We advise and assist all types of post-secondary institutions, including traditional public universities, private for-profit and not-for-profit colleges, and non-degree granting career schools. Our lawyers identify which activities require authorization and guide clients through the necessary processes and procedures to obtain and maintain authorization. We also work with our clients to confirm that they meet state consumer protection laws and regulations related to school catalogs, enrollment agreements, marketing materials or other institutional policies.
Higher Education – Distance Learning and Online Programs. Over the past decade, distance learning has exploded in terms of the number and variety of programs offered by post-secondary institutions, and the institutions offering these programs face a complex web of laws and regulations. HMBR attorneys have an in-depth understanding of the standards and requirements distance education providers must meet to obtain state authorization and approval for their programs. We are also familiar the practical application of the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) and work with institutions to ensure that they understand the coverage limitations under SARA and the state-by-state physical presence standards that remain applicable to a participating institution’s online programs.
Beyond guiding education clients through state authorization requirements and procedures, HMBR attorneys also routinely counsel clients on authorization issues that may surface in connection with their commercial transactions. We also monitor and track changes and developments in the law that may place additional requirements or restrictions on our clients’ educational programs and offerings.