General Practice Unit


The General Practice Unit (“GPU”) is a division of the DOE’s legal office at Tweed Headquarters and provides legal advice to schools and administrative offices on a broad range of issues. The primary responsibilities of the unit include defending the Department of Education in discrimination proceedings before city, state, and federal agencies; supporting and advising the New York City Office of the Corporation Counsel in its representation of the DOE in state and federal court litigation; working on major class actions and policy initiatives; handling student suspension appeals; drafting rules and regulations for the DOE; and analyzing and implementing federal, state, and city legislation and regulations promulgated by the New York State Education Department.

The attorneys in the unit provide direct assistance to administrators and school leadership throughout the DOE in resolving matters with legal implications.

GPU attorneys have knowledge and expertise in multiple areas, including:

  • Chancellor’s Regulations
  • Federal and State education law
  • employment law
  • student safety and health, including immunization issues
  • student discipline
  • laws concerning accommodations for individuals with disabilities (including Section 504)
  • school governance
  • issues regarding access to and confidentiality of student educational records under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
  • religious accommodations for student and staff
  • charter schools
  • school policies, including dress codes, school trips,
  • permit use
  • compulsory education
  • No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB)
  • Freedom of speech
  • Freedom of Information Law