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Partner - Rebecca Rudnick Santiago

Rebecca Rudnick Santiago

Partner

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Rebecca Rudnick Santiago represents public school districts, regional school districts, RESCS, charter schools and private schools in Connecticut with labor/employment and education matters. She serves as the chief negotiator for a number of schools in contract negotiations with teacher and administrators, as well as non-certified bargaining units. Although her goal is to obtain a settlement that is mutually agreeable to the school and the staff, when an agreement cannot be reached, she represents districts in mediations and interest arbitration proceedings. She also assists in drafting contracts for Superintendents and other unaffiliated employees. Her employment work also includes providing guidance to clients regarding documentation of investigations, progressive discipline, evaluations, observations, and intensive assistance plans. In circumstances where dismissal or non-renewal is the appropriate outcome of a personnel matter, she assists with tenure-related questions and separation agreements. She also provides advice and training to school officials on all types of educational issues, including but not limited to policy matters, student discipline, investigations of harassment, bullying or discrimination, DCF matters, wage and hour matters, FMLA and ADA matters, and general employment and personnel issues.

Rebecca handles administrative hearings, including tenure hearings, student expulsion, student accommodations, FERPA, unemployment, prohibited practice charges, grievance arbitration and Freedom of Information hearings. She assists schools in holding Board level hearings at the local level as well as hearings in front of the State Board of Labor Relations, the Department of Labor, the State Board of Mediation and Arbitration, the State Department of Education and the Freedom of Information Commission.

Rebecca also dedicates a significant portion of her practice to assisting boards of education in special education matters, including providing strategy, guidance and representation at PPT meetings, mediation and due process hearings. She counsels districts in ensuring compliance with special education laws, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the IDEA. She also frequently provides training on special education related topics such as restraint and seclusion or transition programming.

Professional Affiliations

  • American Bar Association
  • Connecticut Bar Association
  • Connecticut School Attorneys Council; Secretary 2006-2007, President 2007-2008
  • Hartford County Bar Association; Co-Chair of the Education Law Committee
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Practice Areas

Industries & Featured Services

Education

  • Boston College Law School, J.D., 2003
  • Tufts University, B.A., 2000, cum laude

Bar Admissions

  • Connecticut

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court, District of CT
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