Education Updates

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UPDATE: UConn Settles Sexual Assault Lawsuit for $1.3 Million

We recently reported that five former and current students filed a federal lawsuit against the University of Connecticut (“UConn”) alleging discrimination and that the university failed to properly investigate claims of rape...more

Public Bleachers Constructed Prior to the ADA Don't Need Additional Improvements if a Viable Alternative is Offered

Published Case Provides Blueprint for Viable Alternative Seating - The Ninth Circuit has ruled that the Americans with Disabilities Act does not require a public entity to structurally alter existing bleacher seating...more

Members Of Congress Caution Education Department On Aid Disbursement Rulemaking

Over the past week, members of Congress from both parties have sent several letters to the Department of Education (DOE or ED) regarding its ongoing rulemaking related to the ways higher education institutions request,...more

Social Media Freedom of Expression Cases Pit the Public Against Public Officials

In perhaps the next battleground for government and education, citizens who comment on social media sites are facing off with local government officials public and school administrators who find their online expression...more

Summertime Blues: T.M. v. Cornwall and The Mainstreaming of Extended-School-Year Programs

In a decision that will likely result in both practical challenges and financial burdens for public school districts, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit held in T.M. v. Cornwall Central School District...more

Fifth Circuit Upholds the Use of Race in Admissions at the University of Texas

For a second time, the Fifth Circuit dismissed Abigail Fisher’s claim against the University of Texas at Austin (the “University”), holding that the University’s admissions policy, including the use of race as a factor,...more

Capital Thinking: Education

Regulatory Activity - Online Skills Academy - Last week, the Department of Education announced its collaboration with the Department of Labor to develop a $25 million grant competition for an Online Skills...more

Department of Labor Brief Provides More Guidance on Interns

In the past, we’ve explained the DOL’s test for whether employers must pay their interns. Put simply, public employers and qualifying not-for-profit entities do not have to pay their interns. On the other hand, private...more

ML Strategies FY2015 Massachusetts Budget Update: Conference Committee Budget

On June 30th, the eve of the Commonwealth’s new fiscal year, the House and Senate both approved the joint conference committee report on the FY2015 spending plan. Governor Deval Patrick, who left to attend the Panamanian...more

Northwestern University Football Players Are Not Employees

Recently, the National Labor Relations Board ruled that grant-in-aid scholarship football players at Northwestern University are “employees” under the National Labor Relations Act. This has raised the question whether such...more

Budget Season: It’s Over, But Not…

The General Appropriations bill was passed on time, with the fiscal code bill quickly following in early July. However, in what was one long hot summer week, both bills sat unsigned on the governor’s desk for the better part...more

IPO Names Top 100 Patenting Universities

The Intellectual Property Owners (IPO) recently published a list of the top 100 universities worldwide granted patents in 2013. As reported in the IP Record, these universities are...more

Race-Based Admissions and Assignment Policies Survive Another Legal Challenge in Fisher v. University of Texas

Last year, I blogged about the impact of a higher education Supreme Court diversity case, Fisher v. University of Texas on K-12 schools. As discussed in that blog, although the decision was a higher education decision, it...more

Congress Investigates Intercollegiate Athletics: Are You Ready?

Recently the United States Senate’s Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation held a hearing entitled Promoting the Well-Being and Academic Success of College Athletes. The hearing’s purpose was to examine whether the...more

Womble Legislative Update

Three and a half weeks into the new state fiscal year we have no newly adjusted budget, and the passage of important bills has slowed to a trickle, but there's a distinct uptick in hostage-taking of bills....more

ISBE Publishes Proposed Rules on State Model Evaluation Plan

The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) recently published its proposed regulations containing the State Performance Evaluation Model required under the Performance Evaluation Reform Act (PERA). PERA specifically...more

CMS Proposes Elimination of CME Exemption From Sunshine Act

Teaching hospitals and physicians who speak at continuing medical education (CME) programs should be interested in a July 11, 2014, announcement by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). The announcement proposes...more

Not My Brother’s Keeper: Varley v. Regional School District No. 4 and A School District’s Responsibility For “Free Speech” Claims...

When entering into contacts with vendors, school districts hope that 1) the vendor will comply with the law, and 2) in any event, the vendor will be responsible for its own employment-related disputes. In Varley v. Regional...more

SEC Announces First Settled Proceeding Against Municipal Issuer under MCDC Initiative

The SEC announced July 8 its first settled administrative proceeding against a municipal issuer under its Municipal Continuing Disclosure Cooperation (“MCDC”) Initiative. In its Order, the SEC charged Kings Canyon Joint...more

GPM Labor & Higher Ed Teams Assist St. Thomas in Landmark Union Election Result

Adjunct faculty members at the University of St. Thomas Monday voted overwhelmingly against union representation by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 284. ...more

Environmental Considerations For School Construction

School construction projects present special challenges and must be carefully managed to ensure that environmental issues are safely and well-handled and the health and safety of the school population is protected. New...more

ISBE Releases Non-Regulatory Guidance on Recall Rights for Honorably Dismissed Teachers in Group 2

As we reported last month, recently enacted Public Act 098-0648 gives limited recall rights to honorably dismissed teachers placed in Group 2 who have one “needs improvement” rating. Effective July 1, 2014, Public Act...more

Ontario Bill to extend protection of OHSA to unpaid trainees

A new Ontario Bill will give unpaid trainees the protection of the Occupational Health and Safety Act. The OHSA currently gives that protection to paid workers only. The current definition of “worker” under the OHSA...more

Subject to Change: Department of Education Issues Latest Guidance on Campus SaVE Act VAWA Amendments and Cautions Against Reliance...

On July 14, 2014, the United States Department of Education issued a “Dear Colleague” letter reiterating its prior guidance to institutions for complying their Clery Act obligations under Campus SaVE Act provisions of the...more

Redeveloping Redevelopment: Recent Legislation

THE RISE AND (UNINTENDED) FALL OF REDEVELOPMENT IN CALIFORNIA. The rise and fall of redevelopment agencies in California has been extensively written about, including in this publication. The history of redevelopment...more

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