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John Cairns Law
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Charter School Law Practice
John Cairns Law Professional Association

"Creating, Sustaining, and Financing Charter Schools"
California Charter Schools Association
March 12, 2009

John Cairns was at the table when charter schools were invented, and he is still the leading lawyer in the United States working to support results-driven education.

Nearly 20 years ago, John Cairns was the nation’s first Charter School attorney. Today, he remains passionately involved in charter school policy and public education reform. In 1989, he co-led a Minnesota team funded by a group of Fortune 200 CEOs in a New American Schools Development Corporation (NASDC) project which received a $15 million federal grant to prove that charter schools could work. This project made history—and John’s groundbreaking work helped charter schools emerge in Minnesota and now in over 40 states as a highly effective form of public education. Today there are almost 5000 charter schools in the United States.

John helped create an entirely new area of law practice in this industry. As a result, he has become a nationally-recognized expert in creating charter schools as non-profit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organizations. John has been involved in the charter school industry longer than any other attorney. Over the years, he has helped hundreds of parents, teachers and foundations form charter schools that function at the highest levels of excellence.

In addition, John’s advocacy has helped secure approximately three-quarters of a billion dollars in charter school facility financing.

He is a founding organizer of the National Network of Charter School Attorneys. The goal of this organization is to provide coordinated, effective legal support for charter schools throughout the United States.