Department of Education Public Schools

News & Analysis as of

Connecticut Unaffected by Federal Court Order Forbidding Enforcement of Transgender Guidance

Recently, a federal district court in Texas sided with Texas and several other states that challenged federal guidance instructing schools to accommodate transgender students under federal anti-discrimination laws. The...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

Gavin Grimm v. Glouchester County School Board—Is the Supreme Court Finally Weighing in on the Transgender Bathroom Debate?

On August 3, 2016, the United States Supreme Court granted a stay to a Virginia school Board pending Supreme Court review of the case. In an action reminiscence of the same sex marriage controversy, the Supreme Court's...more

Department of Education Issues Guidance Regarding Meeting the Needs of Students with ADHD

The Department of Education recently issued a Dear Colleague Letter explaining the obligations of school districts to students with ADHD under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. The guidance notes that over the last five...more

United States Department of Education Issues Guidance on Civil Rights of Students with ADHD

On July 26, 2016, the United States Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issued a “Dear Colleague” letter and resource guide (“Guidance”) to LEAs, preschools and post-secondary education institutions...more

Safeguard Your Federal Funding – Transgender Students And Title IX Compliance

On May 13, 2016, the U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of Justice published a guidance document for elementary and secondary schools that reaffirmed its 2015 opinion letter on how Title IX’s regulations apply...more

Worth Another Look: Amendments to the Public School Code

On July 11, S.B. 1073 (Browne, R-Lehigh) became law without the Governor’s signature. S.B. 1073 is the 2016-2017 General Appropriations (GA) Bill; it reads like a ledger and simply directs funds to different agencies and...more

Appeals Court Holds that Title IX Requires Schools to Provide Transgender Students Access to Restrooms Congruent with their Gender...

G. G. v. Gloucester County School Board, 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 7026 (4th Cir. Va. Apr. 19, 2016). A three-judge panel of the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit reverses the lower court’s dismissal of a transgender boy’s...more

Transgender Accommodation Issues at the Forefront of Employment and Education

Earlier this month, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released a new Fact Sheet, announcing its formal position on bathroom access rights for transgender employees. The Fact Sheet provides employers with a...more

Transgender Student Issues – The FEDs Speak, But Is It Really News In Connecticut?

On May 13, 2016, with much fanfare, the United States Department of Justice and the United States Department of Education jointly issued a “Dear Colleague Letter” [“DCL”] in order to provide guidance for school districts with...more

Fourth Circuit Holds that “Sex” Under Title IX Incorporates Gender Identity

Seyfarth Synopsis: The Fourth Circuit in a case of first impression held that Title IX entitles transgender students to use the bathroom that matches their gender identity. Though that ruling only discusses Title IX, the...more

Special Report: How Should NC Employers Apply Restroom Policies Following HB2?

The Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act, commonly known as HB2, continues to generate controversy and confusion. The new law has caused many employers to reexamine their policies with regard to restroom use by employees...more

Fourth Circuit Holds That Title IX Protection Extends to Transgender Restroom Access

On April 19, 2016, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, in a highly publicized decision, issued a ruling which addresses the rights of transgender students under Title IX of the Education Amendments Act...more

Federal Court of Appeals Defers to OCR and Concludes Title IX Permits Transgender Students to Use Restrooms Based on Gender...

In a closely watched case, the federal Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit reversed a lower court decision and, in a 2-1 split opinion, held that, based on guidance from the federal Office for Civil Rights (OCR) within...more

State Releases New School Security and Safety Standards

In 2013, as part of Public Act 13-1, Connecticut enacted legislation that requires the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP), in consultation with the State Department of Education, to develop school...more

UPDATE: Judge Modifies Ruling Impacting Disclosure of Student Records by California DOE

April 1 Deadline to Object Still Applies - The federal judge in the Morgan Hill Concerned Parents Association v. California Department of Education case modified her original decision regarding the release of student...more

U.S. Departments of Education and Health and Human Services Issues Joint Policy Letter On Improving School-Based Health

The United States Departments of Education and Health and Human Services (the “Departments”) recently issued a joint policy letter emphasizing the importance of improving school-based health through the use of partnerships...more

OCR Finds Title IX Violation for School District’s Prohibition of Transgender Student’s Use of Locker Room

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) recently concluded that a public school district in Illinois violated Title IX both by prohibiting a transgender high school student from using the locker...more

Three Things You Need To Know: School Ordered To Allow Girls' Locker Room Access To Transgender Student

Should anatomically male transgender high school students who identify as female be allowed to use female locker rooms? In what has been described as a “momentous” decision, the Department of Education Office of Civil Rights...more

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Establishes Test For Specificity Under The Right To Know Law

Pennsylvania Department of Education v. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 2015 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 316 (Pa. Commw. Ct. July 14, 2015). Pennsylvania Supreme Court reverses the Office of Open records and holds that a request must meet...more

News from Second and State

The biggest news out of the state legislature this week is final passage of a stopgap budget. Last week, the Senate passed S.B. 1000 (Browne, R-Lehigh), and on Thursday, it finally passed the House of Representatives. The...more

OSEP Dear Colleague Letter Reminds Districts to Consider Speech/Language Needs for Students with Autism

The Office for Special Education Programs (“OSEP”) within the U.S. Department of Education recently issued a “Dear Colleague Letter” indicating its concern that students with autism may not be receiving necessary speech and...more

New Hampshire Enacts Breach Notification Requirement for the Department of Education

The state of New Hampshire recently enacted House Bill 322 (“HB 322”), which requires the Department of Education (“DOE”) to implement additional procedures to protect student and teacher data from security breaches. Those...more

The Aftermath: Developments From The 2015 Session of The Connecticut General Assembly Affecting Schools

The 2015 session of the Connecticut General Assembly has just concluded. A comprehensive summary and discussion of laws that were passed during the 2015 session will be forthcoming from this firm after the Governor has acted...more

U.S. Department of Education Weighs in Against an Oregon Bill which would Make it Easier for Students to Opt Out of Testing

The question of the ability of students to “opt out” of mandated standardized testing is one that occupied many school districts during Connecticut’s most recent round of statewide testing. The U.S. Department of Education...more

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