Educational Institutions

News & Analysis as of

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

Student Health Insurance Plans and the ACA: Agencies Provide Enforcement Relief that Allows Colleges and Universities to Continue...

Late last week, the Departments of Labor (“DOL”), Health and Human Services (“HHS”) and the Treasury (collectively, the “Agencies”) issued a very welcome FAQ that will allow higher education institutions to continue...more

NLRB Issues Numerous Decisions Against Employers as Hirozawa's Term Expires

In the midst of a heated presidential election cycle, employers are following recent decisions of the National Labor Relations Board closely. Before losing its three-member Democratic majority at the expiration of Board...more

Attorney General (PAC) Deems RIF Joint Committee for Teacher Placement Subject to OMA

The Public Access Counselor (PAC) division of the Attorney General’s Office recently held that the reduction in force joint committee (the “Joint Committee”) was subject to the requirements of the Open Meetings Act (OMA)....more

Temporary Relief for Certain Student Health Plans Extended Indefinitely

In recently issued guidance, the U.S. Departments of Treasury, Labor, and Health and Human Services indicated that they will indefinitely extend relief to colleges and universities that subsidize the cost of individual...more

Ohio Judge Upholds Federal Guidelines for Transgender Students

The landscape of transgender law impacting students is quickly evolving, in large part due to the increasing national debate over restroom access for transgender students. By way of background, under Title IX, schools...more

The Impact of U.S. Export Controls and Economic Sanctions on Colleges and Universities

At the core, a University holds most dear the ability for faculty and students to freely engage in research in an open environment, permitting unrestricted access to the University’s underlying research data, the research...more

Illinois Court Finds In Favor of School District in Dispute Over District’s Decision to Allow Bathroom and Locker Room Access for...

In an opinion issued yesterday, U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Jeffrey Gilbert decided that Township High School District 211 “balanced the interests of all its students when it decided to permit transgender students to...more

Supreme Court Will Review Two Special Education Cases this Term

The Supreme Court currently has two important special education cases on its docket for this term. The first is Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District (10th Cir.), which will revisit the free and appropriate public...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

It’s All Academic – Higher Education Trademark Disputes Offer Practical Lessons

Sayre’s Law teaches that academic disputes are so bitter because the stakes are so low. But 2016 has seen a minor spike in real trademark disputes between institutions of higher education. Most recently, the University...more

OCR Decides Lack of Procedural Protections for Accused Students Violates Title IX

After years of decisions in which the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) criticized colleges' and universities' handling of claims filed by individuals alleging sexual assault on campus, OCR now...more

NLRB Moves Closer to Finding that Scholarship Student-Athletes are Employees

On September 22, 2016, the Associate General Counsel (“AGC”) for the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB,” or the “Board”) issued an Advice Memorandum indicating that a number of policies in the Northwestern University...more

See You In Court – October 2016

For years now, Bob Bombast, veteran member of the Nutmeg Board of Education, has been perplexed by and concerned about the State formula for providing funds for education. Accordingly, he has watched carefully – and...more

The Unexpected Class Of 2016? Groundbreaking Labor Board Decision Creates New Class Of Supervisors

Recently, in a high-profile decision involving Columbia University, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) determined that private college and university graduate and undergraduate student assistants – that is, students...more

University Of Denver Sued By EEOC for Sex-Based Pay Discrimination

University Paid Female Full Law Professors Significantly Less Than Male Counterparts, Federal Agency Charges - DENVER, Colo. - The University of Denver violated federal law by paying female employees lower wages than...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

Department of Education Releases Training Materials on Handling Sexual Misconduct

The Department of Education (DOE) recently released the Safe Place to Learn resource package, providing schools with a variety of materials aimed at eliminating student-on-student sexual harassment and sexual violence. The...more

Privacy Tip #54 – Keep Student Data Safe

In the past few years, we have seen the explosion of “big data,” “data analytics,” “data aggregation,” “predictive modeling,” and “data breaches.” None of these terms existed when I graduated from law school. We have...more

Courts Must Defer to Agency Determination on Whether a Changed Project is a New Project

In Friends of the College of San Mateo Gardens v. San Mateo County Community College District (Supreme Court No. S214061, filed Sept. 19, 2016), the California Supreme Court resolved the vexing question of whether a change to...more

Dispute an expert's jurisdiction appointed to provide expert determination?

In the recent decision of Zvi Construction Co LLC v. Notre Dame University (USA) in England [2016] EWHC 1924, the Technology and Construction Court (TCC) had to consider whether a party had expressly or impliedly accepted the...more

New York Court Finds Schools Not Constitutionally Underfunded

On September 19, 2016, an Albany, New York trial court in Maisto v. New York rejected plaintiffs’ claims that the state was constitutionally underfunding eight small-city school districts. Stinson Leonard Street attorneys...more

California Supreme Court Addresses Subsequent Review Under CEQA; Rejects Lishman “New Project” Test

In an opinion by Justice Kruger, the Supreme Court of California unanimously reversed the Court of Appeal in Friends of the College of San Mateo Gardens v. San Mateo County Community College District, Cal. Supreme Court, Case...more

California Supreme Court Invalidates "New Project" Test - Court Upholds Use of Addendum to Mitigated Negative Declaration Under...

In a major win for agencies and project sponsors, the Supreme Court of California affirmed that addenda can appropriately be used to consider modifications to a previously approved negative declaration or Environmental Impact...more

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