Seeking Legal Help with a Private School

Updated on May 11, 2010
J.D. asks from Allen, TX
7 answers

I am having trouble with a private school. They made loads of claims and promises and now we found out that they were lies. We lost confidence in the school so I started the transfer process to put my daughter back in public school. The private school won't release the transcripts and I've found out that the credits aren't transferable. My daughter will have to take Credit by Exams for every class that she did at that school. Does anyone know of a lawyer that could help us to get her transcript released and possibly a reimbursement for money spent?
To add - she is in high school so it does matter that is why she will have to take CBE's. We were clearly told that the credits were transferrable as required by law and that the school was fully accredited. Not true though. If you choose a private school, make sure it has TEA accreditation.

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answers from Dallas on

I just want to point out that I work at a private school in Fort Worth, so obviously NOT the one you are having the dispute with. Look very closely at the contract you signed. Ours states specifically that transcripts will not be released if your accounts are not paid to date. It is the receiving school's decision whether to accept credits or not, not the sending school. We require a few different courses than the public school system, (in addition to the basic English, history, science, etc) so kids going into our upper school from the public schools often have to take additional classes to graduate, and some courses we offer are not offered in public school, so some of the credits are useless moving from private to public sometimes. Another point about your contract, it probably states that tuition is non-refundable, unless you've taken out tuition refund insurance.

Final point. The whole purpose of a private school is to NOT be ruled by TEA - why would you want to go to a private school governed by TEA? There are other accreditation agencies, such as NAIS, where the group of schools accredit each other through site visits, thorough review of standards and curriculum, etc. Believe me, it is very thorough, and very stringent. I would guess that your school is accredited through one of these agencies.

Those that are concerned it may be your school, keep in mind that people get disillusioned. Whether it's a doctor, a mechanic, a church etc. Especially where their children are concerned. Private schools still have kids, they still have bullying, drugs, favortism, cliques, etc. Some people get angry when their child fails a class, or gets disciplined. I'm not saying any of this is what happened, but don't jump and pull your child because one person is upset with that school.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Antonio on

Just to put it out there: Did you ask if the school was accredited when you enrolled your child? My dd goes to a school which is not. It was my job to find that out. They also do not do transcripts (of any sort). We get a written essay from the teacher at the end of the year talking about the child's progress, no grades or grade-level standards type stuff, just progress. We had to adjust our expectations and it hasn't been an easy process, but we did sign up for this school and we love it for what it is.

In Texas, home-schooling laws are so lax that no school really needs to be accredited. When my dd transfers out next year, it will be as if she was home the whole time.

Bottom line is you need to find out what the school's policies are before you agree to send your child there. Of course no one knows that, we all have assumptions, when our kids start school. I would not waste energy finding a lawyer. Unless they told you they were accredited and lied about it, you're not going to see a dime. You might even have to pay their court costs.

You did not mention how old your child is, but unless she's in high school, I don't know that transcripts matter all that much when it comes down to it. She will be age-placed in a grade and if she has trouble/ shows great promise, her educational track will be adjusted accordingly.

All the best to you in this transition.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

Is the school refusing to release transcripts because their is a balance due? Do you have a written agreement? What does it say about the release of information? Is the school accredited and or under some academic association? You may want to begin to document specifically the promises that were made, when and how they were broken.

God Bless,

Attorney at Law

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Andrew Garcia is an attorney in Dallas. We have known him for years and he is helping us with our will. I do not know what he would charge or what legal ramifications he could implicate the school for, but he is has helped us with all our legal issues and is a great guy.


I am with Jennifer, we are starting to look at private schools for our daughter and I would like to know the name of the school. Please message me so that I can steer clear of that one.



answers from Dallas on

I don't actually have a lawyer referral for you, but I am interested in knowing the name of the school. You may not want to share it here, but I will be sending my girls to a private school in Fairview in the Fall and am interested.



answers from Dallas on

I'm adding my name to the curiosity list!!! My son will be going to private school in the fall and I hope it's not the same one!!!



answers from Dallas on

I'm curious about the school also. We have our children in private right now also and I'm just wondering what school in the area to avoid. Thanks!

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