Education Law

McAnany, Van Cleave & Phillips has a wealth of experience in the laws and issues surrounding our education system and is known as a leading education law firm in the Midwest.  We serve as general counsel for several school districts, are active members in the Council of School Attorneys for the National Association of School Boards and its state branches, and appear before state legislatures to provide testimony to education committees.

MVP's education team is comprised of attorneys with various areas of specialty, all with sound experience in education, contributing to a successful and growing education law practice group.

We are part of your team.  We share your goals and passions for your students and your community.  We are committed to encouraging student achievement, fostering an environment for life-long learning, and developing students into responsible, productive citizens. 

Some areas of our experience in education law include:

Labor and Employment 

School districts and educational institutions are significant employers in a community and deal with many of the same employment issues as their business counterparts.  We have been involved in negotiations with employee bargaining units and have experience assisting clients in developing personnel procedures and manuals to avoid litigation and to minimize risks when litigation occurs.

Student Discipline

In a climate where violence on school campuses continues to dominate headlines, school discipline is an issue that must be taken seriously and handled carefully.  We can advise on discipline issues, including those involving special circumstances, such as students with disabilities, and assist with discipline hearings and appeals. 

When it comes to student discipline, we believe that prevention is the best medicine.  We are often involved in drafting policies, processes, and handbooks to lessen the number of discipline incidents.

Student Records

Since 1974, federal law has mandated the protection and privacy of student records.  We work with school administrators to protect student records and to obtain proper permission for disclosure when necessary in accordance with the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

Special Education

There are many laws governing education for students with disabilities.  We have experience in matters involving the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the Americans with Disabilities Act, and Section 504, as well as Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) and the discipline issues involved in special education.

Vendor Contracts & Bid Processes

When purchasing products or services through outside vendors, you want to get the best value for the district.  We ensure your interests are protected throughout bid processes and in subsequent contracts.  We are able to negotiate on your behalf and advise on the terms and "fine print" of vendor contracts.

School Finance, Tax, and Bond Issues

Proper funding is required to maintain an educational system and to provide an adequate education for each student.  We have experience in the different aspects of school finance, taxation, and bond issues that impact school system's financial resources.

Real Estate

Providing an atmosphere for learning requires a location for learning to take place.  Thus, school districts are often faced with many real estate issues, including land use, purchase, and sale of property.  We advise school districts in many areas of real estate law to help provide appropriate facilities for learning.

Constitutional Issues - Due process, civil rights, desegregation

School leaders are faced with constitutional issues and policy decisions almost daily, involving areas such as freedom of speech, religion, privacy, and drug testing.  We have experience in many areas of constitutional law, including due process, civil rights, and desegregation.

Intellectual Property

Like you, we recognize the value and impact of creative, innovative teachers and staff, who can enhance or even create new curriculum or research to advance education.  But with creativity and innovation comes intellectual property issues.  Our attorneys can assist in discerning intellectual property matters in the educational setting.

Workers' Compensation Defense

We are well-known for our success in defending workers' compensation cases.  Our attorneys defend school districts and educational institutions and understand the specific issues of workers' compensation in education.  We presently represent over 100 Kansas and Missouri school districts and community colleges in worker's compensation, including members of the Kansas Association of School Boards' workers' compensation pool.


Our team of lawyers litigates cases when necessary.  The firm's attorneys have successfully argued cases at the appellate level, representing schools' interests in many courtrooms.  While we are committed to representing our clients in court, we recognize that many cases can be resolved prior to trial through alternative dispute resolution.  We often successfully participate in mediations, arbitrations, and other forms of alternative dispute resolution as a more efficient and less costly alternative to litigation.

Ryan B. Denk
Gregory P. Goheen
Douglas M. Greenwald