Public Schools

News & Analysis as of

Status Updates - September 2014 #5

..School discipline. The California legislature has passed a law that, if signed by Gov. Jerry Brown (or not vetoed by him before the end of September), would significantly expand privacy protections for students from...more

Proposed FERPA Update Would Strengthen Student Data Privacy

On July 30, 2014, two U.S. senators introduced the Protecting Student Privacy Act, which would update the sections of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) that deal with protecting the privacy of students'...more

Student Forced To Wear “Shame Suit” After Violating School Dress Code

Another school year has begun and it seems like the debate over school dress codes shows no indication of stopping. The most recent dress code controversy to grab national attention involves fifteen-year-old Miranda...more

U.S. Department of Education Issues New Guidelines On Collecting Student Data

This past July, the U.S. Department of Education released the Transparency Best Practices for Schools and Districts, a new set of guidelines created to improve relations between school districts and parents surrounding school...more

This Year, Schools Face Increased Obligations for Addressing Bullying

Two new laws require school districts and charter schools to reconsider their approach to bullying. The first new bullying law requires school boards and charter schools to make extensive revisions to their bullying policies....more

Circuit Court Finds Stay Put Does Not Apply to Unilateral Placement

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) provides that during the pendency of a dispute, a student must remain in his/her “then-current educational placement”; this is known as stay put. The IDEA does not,...more

Georgia Prosecutors To Argue That The Atlanta Public School System Is a Racketeering Enterprise

Jury selection has begun in the criminal trial of 12 Atlanta teachers and administrators accused of conspiring to alter and inflate student scores on standardized testing utilized to gauge compliance with, and eligibility for...more

Alert: Policy Revisions Due to New Laws

This Alert is intended to give a general explanation of 2014 legislative enactments of the Connecticut General Assembly that may impact your board of education policies. For more detailed and individualized assistance with...more

CPUC Review of Comcast-TWC Merger Gives Cities & Schools Opportunity to Improve Broadband Services

The California Public Utilities Commission has decided to focus on the cost and availability of broadband services in its review of the proposed merger between the two largest cable and broadband providers in the state:...more

There’s One For You, Nineteen For Me – Ideas For The Better Investment Of State & Local Taxes In Indiana

The business personal property tax, which raises about a billion dollars annually for local government, should be eliminated to spur job creating investments in our communities and it should be replaced by the existing...more

DOJ and DOE Warning: School Enrollment Practices Must Not Discourage Enrollment of Immigrant Students

According to the U.S. Departments of Justice and Education, U.S. school districts are discouraging student enrollment based on their parents’ illegal immigrant status. The Departments issued guidance, a frequently asked...more

Update: District Court Finds First Amendment Does Not Protect Former Guidance Counselor’s Sexually-Explicit Book

The Northern District Court of Illinois found that Rich Township High School District 227 did not violate the free speech rights of former guidance counselor and girls’ basketball coach Bryan Craig when it dismissed him based...more

Appellate Court Upholds Decision That Therapeutic Day School Is Not Student’s Least Restrictive Environment

In Porter v. Illinois State Board of Education, the Illinois Appellate Court upheld an Illinois State Board of Education special education hearing officer’s decision that a therapeutic day school was not a student’s least...more

Summary of 2014 Connecticut Legislative Enactments Affecting The Public Schools and Public-Sector Employers

In This Issue: - Interpreters Standards For Students With Hearing Impairments - Preschool And DCF - Health Assessment Forms for Use by Youth Camps and Day Care Providers - English Language Learner...more

When The Teacher Is The School Bully

Anti-bullying laws may now have a significant impact on what is considered to be “emotional abuse” in schools. Recently, the Connecticut Supreme Court concluded that a teacher’s bullying behavior toward a student met the...more

Student Can Be Eligible For Special Education With Both A Specific Learning Disability And Other Health Impairment At The Same...

In E. M. v. Pajaro Valley Unified School District (July 15, 2014) No. 12-15743, the Ninth Circuit recently held that a student with an auditory processing disorder could be eligible for special education and related services...more

Personnel Deadlines For the 2014-2015 School Year

Reassignment of surplus personnel: When actual student enrollment in a grade level or program, unforeseen before March 1, 2014, permits the assignment of fewer teachers or service personnel to or within a school, the county...more

Public School Advocacy Groups Seek Supreme Court Review of “Stay-Put” Placements in Private Schools

One of the most important due process protections afforded to disabled students under the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is the principle of “stay-put” or “pendency” placement....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

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

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

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

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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