For-profit

Neola

Website:

neola.com/

Location:

Stow, OH

Type:

For-Profit

Executive Director:

Patrick Corbett

Formation:

1978

Type:

Education Consultancy

Neola (formerly known as North East Ohio Learning Associates) [1] is an education consultancy that develops personalized bylaws, policies, guidelines, and materials for more than 1,550 school boards in six states. [2] As of June 2022, Neola has created 400 different policy templates to address policy concerns in K-12 schools. [3] [4] [5]

Neola supports the critical race theory-influenced concept of educational equity at public schools [6] and has previously participated in the annual conference of the left-of-center National School Boards Association. [7]

In October 2021, the Mason School Board in Mason, Michigan, repealed its “controversial topics” policy, which originated from Neola and had led to the school district suggesting the addition of far-left Black Lives Matter material in the school’s Black History Month content. [8] Neola has also helped the school board in Manatee County, Florida, develop policies that work to “develop racial equity priorities for schools and offices” and see “equity as an outcome.” [9]

History and Leadership

Neola was founded in 1978 as North East Ohio Learning Associates. [10] [11] In 1979, Neola began its consultancy work in Ohio. [12] Between 1989 and 2005, Neola expanded beyond Ohio and began working with clients in Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, West Virginia, and Florida. [13] [14]

Patrick Corbett is the executive director of Neola. [15] [16]

Activities and Funding

Neola is an education consulting firm that develops personalized bylaws, policies, guidelines, and materials to more than 1,550 school boards in six states. [17] As of June 2022, Neola has created 400 different policy templates to address school board policy concerns in K-12 schools. [18] [19] Neola has also participated in the annual conference of the left-of-center National School Boards Association. [20]

Staffed primarily by former school administrators, [21] Neola helps superintendents, general counsel, and policy administration draft policy language to ensure school board compliance with state and federal education regulations. Twice a year Neola proposes revisions and updates to its clients. [22] [23] [24]

Neola supports the critical race theory-influenced concept of educational equity at public schools. [25] The organization also participates in external reviews of school systems; [26] offers policy templates and “best practices” guidelines for school board regulations; [27] facilities studies, population projects, curriculum units, and staff development; [28] [29] and provides IT consulting, school safety, emergency systems, and online compliance service contracts for K-12 schools to its clients. [30]

In October 2021, the Mason School Board in Mason, Michigan, repealed its “controversial topics” policy, which originated from Neola and had led to the school district suggesting the addition of far-left Black Lives Matter material in the school’s Black History Month content. [31]

Neola has also helped school boards institute school board bylaws and policies in Polk County, Florida, that claim “complex societal and historical factors may contribute to inequity” [32] and in Manatee County, Florida, that work to “develop racial equity priorities for schools and offices” and see “equity as an outcome.” [33]

In August 2021, Neola sent a “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Public Schools” legal alert to its clients that summarized the Ohio Board of Education’s resolution condemning racism and advancing equity for minority students. [34]

State-level Engagement

Neola has 515 clients in Ohio and has worked in the state since 1979. [35] Neola has 38 clients in Florida and is the state school board association’s preferred provider of policy service. [36] Neola has 449 clients in Michigan and is in partnership with the Michigan Association of School Boards. [37] Neola also has 298 clients in Wisconsin, [38] 217 clients in Indiana, [39] and 26 clients in West Virginia. [40]

Funding

Neola receives its funding from program service fees associated with its advisory services. [41]

References

  1. “About.” Neola. Accessed June 2, 2022. https://neola.com/about/mission-history/. ^
  2. “Services.” Neola. Accessed June 3, 2022. https://neola.com/services/. ^
  3. “Services.” Neola. Accessed June 3, 2022. https://neola.com/services/. ^
  4. “A Loss In the Neola Family.” Neola. March 6, 2020. Accessed June 3, 2022. https://neola.com/2020/03/06/a-loss-in-the-neola-family/. ^
  5. “Update Volume 40 Number 2.” Neola January 2022. Accessed June 3, 2022. https://www.worthington.k12.oh.us/cms/lib/OH01001900/Centricity/Domain/38/Enclosure%201%20January%202022%20NEOLA%20Policy%20Updates.pdf. ^
  6. [1] “The New School Year Begins with a Host of Familiar Challenges and We Are here to Help.” Michigan Association of Superintendents and Administrators. September 13, 2021. Accessed June 3, 2022. http://gomasa.org/2021/09/13/the-new-school-year-begins-with-a-host-of-familiar-challenges-and-we-are-here-to-help/. ^
  7. “Let’s Talk Policy at NSBA.” Neola. March 23, 2017. Accessed June 3, 2022. https://neola.com/2017/03/23/lets-talk-policy-nsba/. ^
  8. Comar, Abigail. “Mason School Board reverses, relaxes Controversial Topics policy.” October 19, 2021. Accessed June 5, 2022. https://news.jrn.msu.edu/2021/10/mason-school-board-reverses-relaxes-controversial-topics-policy/. ^
  9. “Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Policy – DRAFT – 8-16-20.” Manatee School District. August 16, 2020. Accessed June 5, 2022. https://www.manateeschools.net/cms/lib/FL02202357/Centricity/Domain/1115/2020-10-27%20Public%20Hearing%20%200164%200165.1%20and%20Equity%20Policy.pdf. ^
  10. “About.” Neola. Accessed June 2, 2022. https://neola.com/about/mission-history/. ^
  11. “Neola Inc.” D&B Business Directory. Accessed June 2, 2022. https://www.dnb.com/business-directory/company-profiles.neola_inc.a59b5c5c91371e85932d5ecc9208de9c.html. ^
  12. “Ohio.” Neola. Accessed June 3, 2022. https://neola.com/state/ohio/. ^
  13. “Where We Serve.” Neola. Accessed June 4, 2022. https://neola.com/where-we-serve/. ^
  14. “Associates.” Neola. Accessed June 2, 2022. https://neola.com/about/associates/. ^
  15. “Pat Corbett.” LinkedIn. Accessed June 2, 2022. https://www.linkedin.com/in/pat-corbett-9a126273/. ^
  16. “About – Staff.” Neola. Accessed June 2, 2022. https://neola.com/about/staff/. ^
  17. [1] “Services.” Neola. Accessed June 3, 2022. https://neola.com/services/. ^
  18. “Services.” Neola. Accessed June 3, 2022. https://neola.com/services/. ^
  19. “A Loss In the Neola Family.” Neola. March 6, 2020. Accessed June 3, 2022. https://neola.com/2020/03/06/a-loss-in-the-neola-family/. ^
  20. “Let’s Talk Policy at NSBA.” Neola. March 23, 2017. Accessed June 3, 2022. https://neola.com/2017/03/23/lets-talk-policy-nsba/. ^
  21. “Message from Richard Clapp.” Neola. Accessed June 2, 2022. https://neola.com/about/ceo-message/. ^
  22. “Our Process.” Neola. Accessed June 3, 2022. https://neola.com/our-process/. ^
  23. “Resources.” Neola. Accessed June 3, 2022. https://neola.com/resources/faqs/. ^
  24. Hahn, Korny. “Cheboygan schools switches policies from NEOLA to Thurn Law Firm.” Cheboygan Daily Tribune. April 30, 2020. Accessed June 2, 2022. https://www.cheboygannews.com/story/news/2020/04/30/cheboygan-schools-switches-policies-from/1269082007/. ^
  25. “The New School Year Begins with a Host of Familiar Challenges and We Are here to Help.” Michigan Association of Superintendents and Administrators. September 13, 2021. Accessed June 3, 2022. http://gomasa.org/2021/09/13/the-new-school-year-begins-with-a-host-of-familiar-challenges-and-we-are-here-to-help/. ^
  26. Stephen, Nelson. “Report of the External Review Team for City of Cape Coral Municipal Charter School System.” Pg. 33. May 4, 2016. Accessed June 2, 2022. https://www.oasiselementaryschool.net/_cache/files/b/a/baf0543d-a586-4083-b7d2-5b16b4472c16/AB16D5E9408184D5F3C26406D2435206.er-report—approved—052516.pdf. ^
  27. “Resources.” Neola. Accessed June 2, 2022. https://neola.com/resources/faqs/. ^
  28. “About.” Neola. Accessed June 3, 2022. https://neola.com/our-process/. ^
  29. “About.” Neola. Accessed June 2, 2022. https://neola.com/. ^
  30. “Service Affiliates.” Neola. Accessed June 3, 2022. https://neola.com/resources/our-partners/. ^
  31. Comar, Abigail. “Mason School Board reverses, relaxes Controversial Topics policy.” October 19, 2021. Accessed June 5, 2022. https://news.jrn.msu.edu/2021/10/mason-school-board-reverses-relaxes-controversial-topics-policy/. ^
  32.  “2260 – Nondiscrimination, Equity, and Access to Equal Educational Opportunity.” The School Board of Polk County. Adopted November 12, 2013. Accessed June 4, 2022. https://files.neola.com/polk-fl/search/policies/po2260.htm. ^
  33. “Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Policy – DRAFT – 8-16-20.” Manatee School District. August 16, 2020. Accessed June 5, 2022. https://www.manateeschools.net/cms/lib/FL02202357/Centricity/Domain/1115/2020-10-27%20Public%20Hearing%20%200164%200165.1%20and%20Equity%20Policy.pdf. ^
  34. “Update Volume 40 Number 2.” Neola January 2022. Accessed June 3, 2022. https://www.worthington.k12.oh.us/cms/lib/OH01001900/Centricity/Domain/38/Enclosure%201%20January%202022%20NEOLA%20Policy%20Updates.pdf. ^
  35. “Ohio.” Neola. Accessed June 3, 2022. https://neola.com/state/ohio/. ^
  36. “Florida.” Neola. Accessed June 3, 2022. https://neola.com/state/florida/. ^
  37. “Michigan.” Neola. Accessed June 3, 2022. https://neola.com/state/michigan/. ^
  38. “Wisconsin.” Neola. Accessed June 3, 2022. https://neola.com/state/wisconsin/. ^
  39. “Indiana.” Neola. Accessed June 3, 2022. https://neola.com/state/indiana/. ^
  40. “West Virginia.” Neola. Accessed June 3, 2022. https://neola.com/state/west-virginia/. ^
  41. “FAQS.” Neola. Accessed June 4, 2022. https://neola.com/resources/faqs/. ^
  See an error? Let us know!

Neola

3914 Clock Pointe Trail, Suite 103
Stow, OH