From the Boardroom

Wayne County Board of Education Meeting Recap [5-11-22]

Board discusses RFP for legal services

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On May 11, 2022 the Wayne County Board of Education held a special called meeting to discuss an RFP for legal services.

To aid in the Board’s discussion, Superintendent David Lewis shared a number of sample RFP options for the Board to review in advance of the meeting. The Board discussed some of the shared RFPs and a number of different options it could take as part of its own effort to develop an RFP for legal services, including:

  • Whether or not the Board should only use a lawyer or law firm that specializes in education, and what potential benefits one might have over the other;

  • Whether or not the Board should hire a staff attorney, contract with an attorney or firm, or a combination of hiring a staff attorney to handle day-to-day business and retaining a law firm for more specialized issues;

  • Potential benefit of a salaried staff attorney and potential benefits of solely maintaining a retainer for services;

  • Strategies for limiting spending and/or capping expenses, such as allowing staff to handle some business currently being handled by legal counsel or requiring such work to be included as part of the retainer even if it means increasing the retainer costs some; and

  • How best to notice the RFP to attract the best candidates.

While not all discussion items had full Board consensus, the Board did agree to the following for the development of its own RFP:

  • The Board will use language that will allow both an individual attorney or a law firm to apply with a minimum of two years of service representing Boards of education;

  • The Board will continue exploring the strategy of hiring its own attorney with the idea of contracting with the attorney or law firm it selects;

  • The Board will use the standards outlined within the Johnston County Schools RFP and a similar table and required services within the Cabarrus County Schools RFP;

  • The Board will request multiple retainer and fee structure options that can be considered;

  • The Board will require that legal representation is present at all Board meetings and Board Policy Committee Meetings;

  • Dr. Lewis will develop and share a draft RFP with the Board via email prior to posting;

  • Once finalized, the Board will post notice of the RFP via the Council of School Attorneys (COSA) listserv and on the WCPS website;

  • The notice will be posted Wednesday, May 18, 2022 and the deadline for applications is June 1, 2022; and

  • The Board will review applications, allow for any potential presentations, and approve a contract for legal services during the month of June with a July 1, 2022 start date for services.

Board discusses possibility of another special called meeting

Before adjoining, the Board briefly discussed whether there is a need for a special called meeting for the full Board to hear presentations from two contractors, currently planned to occur at the next BOE Finance Committee, which will focus on bids for the school district’s copier contract. It was determined that a special called meeting was not necessary.

After no further discussion, the meeting was adjourned.

Board Meeting Resources for the May 11, 2022 Meeting

The full May 11, 2022 Board Meeting can be viewed by clicking on Video Link. This meeting and past meeting videos can be viewed by clicking on the following Board Meeting Videos Link. The May 11, 2022 Meeting agenda and associated materials presented to the Board can be viewed by clicking on Meeting Link.

DISTRICT 1: Mr. Don Christopher West (Chair) -

DISTRICT 2: Mr. H. Len Henderson -

DISTRICT 3: Ms. Patricia A. Burden (Vice-Chair) -

DISTRICT 4: Mrs. Jennifer S. Strickland -

DISTRICT 5: Mr. Craig Foucht -

DISTRICT 6: Mr. Wade Leatham -

AT LARGE: Mr. J. Tommy Sanders III -