Dear Colleague Letter

News & Analysis as of

How Are You Handling Parents Who Might Not Speak English?

A recent Philadelphia court decision is a welcome reminder for Barley Snyder client school districts to know what is required of them when it comes to dealing with families where the parents or guardians of a student do not...more

OCR Releases New Section 504 Resource Guide

On December 28, 2016, the Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) within the U.S. Department of Education released several guidance documents, including a Parent and Educator Resource Guide to Section 504 in Public Elementary and...more

U.S. Department of Education Issues New Guidance Interpreting Civil Rights Laws Protecting Students with Disabilities

Regulators have given school districts new guidance on how to remain compliant with federal laws concerning services to students with disabilities thanks to some year-end agency filings. U.S. Department of Education...more

Office for Civil Rights Issues Dear Colleague Letter: Restraint and Seclusion of Students With Disabilities

On December 28, 2016, the Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights (OCR), issued four guidance documents concerning students with disabilities. Along with two frequently asked questions documents concerning students...more

New Guidance Issued by the Department of Education on the Rights of Students with Disabilities

At the end of last month, the Department of Education released three new sets of guidance on the federal civil rights laws that govern students with disabilities. All three offer valuable information about current and...more

Top Ten Education Developments, Breaches, and Settlements of 2016

This year has been a busy year for education law in the area of data privacy. Educational institutions continue to be a rich target for hackers. Additionally, there were some important developments in the interpretation of...more

Impact on Transgender Students as the Meaning of “Sex” Discrimination Under Title IX Evolves

The rights due to a student under Title IX continue to evolve. Title IX prohibits discrimination based on “sex,” which historically has meant that biological male and female students are required to be treated as equals....more

United States Supreme Court to Hear Case Concerning Transgender Student Rights under Title IX

Amid a national background of litigation concerning the U.S. Department of Education’s directives involving the rights of transgender students, on October 28, 2016, the Supreme Court of the United States granted certiorari to...more

Supreme Court Agrees to Review Transgender Restroom Use

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court accepted review of a Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals decision that could determine whether transgender status is a protected classification under federal civil rights laws. In Gloucester Sch....more

U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Transgender Student Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear oral argument in one of the high-profile challenges to the legality of the Dear Colleague Letter (“DCL”) jointly issued by the U.S. Departments of Justice and Education on May 13,...more

U.S. Supreme Court To Rule Upon Transgender Student Issue

In the latest development of transgender student issues, the United States Supreme Court agreed to review the ruling of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in the matter of Gloucester County School Board v. G.G., 822 F.3d 709...more

Texas Judge Clarifies Scope of Transgender Guidance Injunction; Feds Appeal to 5th Circuit

We have been tracking the development of litigation concerning rights, obligations, and duties with regard to transgender students as cases unfold across the country. Earlier this summer, Texas and twelve other states...more

U.S. Department of Education Issues Guidance on Student Medical Records

On September 14, 2016, the Department of Education (DOE) issued a “Dear Colleague Letter” to provide guidance on the application of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) to the disclosure of student medical...more

I Meant What I Said: Transgender Student Rights In Connecticut In The Face Of The Latest Federal Court Developments

As we have previously written, the United States Departments of Education and Justice issued joint guidance for school districts regarding transgender students via a May 13, 2016 “Dear Colleague Letter.” This guidance was...more

Family Policy Compliance Office Issues FERPA Privacy Guidelines

Institutions of higher education frequently offer students access to on-campus medical services resulting in institutionally maintained student medical records. These services have grown over the last several years and, in...more

U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of Justice Release Dear Colleague Letters Jointly Announcing New SECURe Rubrics...

On September 8, 2016, the United States Department of Education and the United States Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (“COPS”) jointly released new guidance regarding school resource...more

U.S. Departments of Education and Justice Issue “Dear Colleague” Letters and Resource Materials for LEAs Addressing the Use of...

On Sept. 8, the U.S. Departments of Education (ED) and Justice (DOJ) each issued “Dear Colleague” letters and accompanying “resource documents” addressing school-based law enforcement and the role of School Resource Officers...more

Department of Education Releases New Guidance on SROs, Police in Schools

The Department of Education (DOE) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) have issued non-binding regulatory guidance regarding law-enforcement officers’ involvement in the administration of school discipline. The new guidance,...more

Department of Education Issues New Guidance on Disclosure of Student Medical Records

The Family Policy Compliance Office at the U.S. Department of Education (the Department) recently released "significant guidance" on the application of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) to the release of...more

Department of Education Issues Guidance on Campus Policing

Citing the ongoing nationwide dialogue on law enforcement-community relations, racial justice and officer and public safety, on September 8 the U.S. Department of Education (in coordination with the Justice Department)...more

Legal Update: U.S. Department of Education Guidance - Rights of Homeless Children and Youths under McKinney-Vento as Amended by...

Under McKinney-Vento, LEAs must ensure homeless children and youths have equal access to the same free, appropriate public education – including a public preschool education – as provided to other children and youths. U.S....more

OSERS Reminds of Need to Consider PBIS; Cautions on Use of Short-Term Removals and Exclusionary Discipline

The United States Department of Education’s Office for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) published a Dear Colleague Letter (DCL) on August 1, 2016 underscoring the importance of positive behavioral...more

Department of Education Issues New Dear Colleague Letter Regarding the Enrollment of Homeless Students

On July 27, 2016, the United States Department of Education (“Department of Education”) released a dear colleague letter (DCL) and a non-regulatory guidance document (“Guidance Document”) discussing school districts’...more

Alert: ED Seeks Further Compliance with Third-Party Servicer Rules

On August 18, 2016, the US Department of Education (ED or the Department) issued a Dear Colleague Letter (DCL) providing additional guidance on issues related to the requirements for third parties that provide financial aid...more

United States District Court Enjoins Enforcement of Dear Colleague Letter on Transgender Students; Decision May Impact OCR...

On August 21, 2016, in a case entitled State of Texas et al. v. United States of America et al ., Judge Reed O’Connor of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas issued a nationwide preliminary...more

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