How Legal Counsel Can Work for School Boards

Ted Doran pic

Ted Doran

Florida attorney Ted Doran has represented the Volusia County School Board since 2002, providing advice on legal issues, policy, and litigation matters. Lawyers employed by local school districts provide valuable services as the school boards navigate an often confusing set of local, state, and federal laws that pertain to schools.

The main goal is to avoid litigation and legal missteps that occur when making policies for the local school system. When litigation does occur, the legal counsel represents the school board before the court.

In some cases, the attorney will give advice on the information board members should discuss publicly during controversial proceedings, as Ted Doran did in 2015 when the Volusia County School Board was negotiating with the teachers’ union over the current contracts. Other times, the attorney will give advice in regard to the contracts and appointments of the school board itself.


Ted Doran lauds Volusia schools’ ‘Yes’ to blue jeans

Volusia County Schools pic

Volusia County Schools

Ted Doran is a respected attorney in Daytona Beach, Florida. Besides representing various state agencies, Ted Doran has held the position of School Board Attorney for Volusia County Schools since 2002. In early 2016, he advised the school board on a policy matter that discussed whether blue jeans should be allowed.

While board members voted 4-1 allowing blue jeans to be worn alongside black denim and several colors of khakis, others had second thoughts about their inclusion on the new acceptable clothes’ list effective next school year. The aim of the dress code was to decrease bullying and boost student performance.

While some criticized the board for procrastinating on an important issue, Mr. Doran said the board’s deliberate handling reflected a shared commitment to fixing a sensitive issue. In particular, the wishes of parents must be weighed with what was good for the school district as a whole.

FUTURES Foundation’s Turn Around Program Recognizes School Improvement

FUTURES Foundation pic

FUTURES Foundation

A founding partner at Doran, Sims, Wolfe, and Ciocchetti in Daytona Beach, Florida, Ted Doran is an attorney who loves to give back to his community. In this capacity, Ted Doran contributes to the FUTURES Foundation for Volusia County Schools.

The FUTURES Foundation’s mission is to engage leadership from businesses and government to help improve Volusia County students’ education and better prepare them for college and university. One of the Foundation’s projects is called the Turn Around program, which recognizes students who improve in terms of attendance, grades, attitude, or their level of involvement in school programs. Turn Around is intended to help prevent students from dropping out by acknowledging and rewarding their hard work.

Many of the students facing difficulties in terms of their schoolwork and behavior often don’t receive much support or positive reinforcement, and as such may be at a higher risk of dropping out. A Turn Around award may show them that hard work pays off and that they are appreciated by their communities, in spite of or even especially if they are facing particularly difficult challenges.

Winners receive a certificate and are invited to a gala dinner with their parents and community members. In 2016, 80 Volusia County students in middle school and high school received awards from the Turn Around program.

School District Cost Differentials

Doran Sims Wolfe & Ciocchetti pic

Doran Sims Wolfe & Ciocchetti

With over 30 years of experience as a civil litigation attorney representing many government entities, Ted Doran is a senior partner at the Daytona Beach, Florida, law firm of Doran Sims Wolfe & Ciocchetti. Ted Doran has previous experience as an associate attorney at Leonhardt & Upchurch, also in Florida. In 2002, Mr. Doran represented the school boards of Volusia and Monroe counties in a case challenging the methods used by the Florida Department of Education to calculate school district cost differentials.

A school district cost differential is a yearly adjustment to education appropriations from the government, with the purpose of adjusting the base state funding of a school district based on the price of goods, services, and wages in the county in an attempt to better reflect actual funding needs.

This adjustment can increase or decrease state funding for a school district depending on cost-of-living indices and other factors. A wage index, for example, can have an effect on the amount of funding a school district receives. The implementation and methodology used can have a major impact on individual school districts.

FUTURES Foundation for Volusia County Schools Improves Education

FUTURES Foundation pic

FUTURES Foundation

Florida attorney Ted Doran practices family law and civil litigation at Doran, Sims, Wolfe & Ciocchetti in Daytona Beach. Ted Doran also serves as School Board Attorney for Volusia County Schools. Ted Doran’s passion for public education facilitated in the forming of the FUTURES Foundation for Volusia County Schools.

The FUTURES Foundation for Volusia County Schools was established more than three decades ago. The group connects businesses and community leaders with public schools in an effort to enhance its educational programs. Its programs consist of breakfasts that welcome new teachers, awards that recognize academic professionals, and a school matching grant program.

The latter, also known as the School District Education Foundation, utilizes funds from the Consortium of Florida Education Foundations to match money raised by public schools. In 2015, the program awarded more than $80,000, which was applied to initiatives impacting literacy and STEM education as well as teacher quality and graduation rates. Further, programs improving low performance among students were eligible for funding. Award recipients were matched dollar for dollar.