Public School Boards

News & Analysis as of

Illinois Appellate Court Decisions Addresses Important Student Discipline and Employment Issues for Public Schools

Earlier this month, the Illinois Appellate Court (First District) issued an opinion addressing a number of important student discipline and executive employment issues. Because the Appellate Court agreed with the trial court...more

SEE YOU IN COURT! - September 2015

The members of the Nutmeg Board of Education are a conscientious group, and they want to know everything about the operation of the Nutmeg Public Schools. For his part, Mr. Superintendent has tried to keep up with their...more

PAC Opinion Finds Municipal Bank Account Numbers Subject to FOIA

Earlier this year, the Public Access Counselor (PAC) issued an under-the-radar advisory opinion that could have an impact on responses to Illinois Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. According to the non-binding...more

Illinois Passes Legislation Curbing Out-of-School Disciplinary Practices

On August 24, 2015, Governor Rauner signed into law Public Act 99-456. The Act requires school districts and charter schools to overhaul their discipline policies and is aimed at reducing the incidence of out-of-school...more

Federal Court Dismisses Transgender Student’s Title IX Claims in Restroom Lawsuit

Last week, U.S. District Judge Robert G. Doumar ruled that a school board’s decision to prohibit a transgender student from using the male restroom does not constitute unlawful discrimination under Title IX of the Education...more

Judge Moon and Civil Rights Lawsuits Against Bedford County Public Schools

Judge Moon has ruled on two cases in the past month involving constitutional civil rights issues and public schools. In L.E.A. v. Bedford County School Board, Judge Moon denied a preliminary injunction prohibiting the...more

PAC Rules on Two OMA Cases

The Illinois Attorney General’s Public Access Counselor (PAC) issued two non-binding opinions in July related to the Open Meetings Act (OMA). In one opinion, the PAC found that a school district did not violate the OMA when...more

PAC Rules Collective Bargaining Preparatory Meetings are Subject to OMA

In a non-binding opinion, the Public Access Counselor (PAC) held that a school district violated the Open Meetings Act (OMA) when the board’s negotiations team, which included three board members, held a meeting to discuss...more

SEE YOU IN COURT – July/August 2015

Mr. Superintendent couldn’t believe that it is already again time for negotiations with the Nutmeg Union of Teachers (NUTS). However, when Mr. Superintendent told Mr. Chairman that teacher negotiations are coming up and...more

Teacher has Certification Suspended for One Year Following Facebook Posts that Ridicule Student’s Name

The issue of disciplining employees for their use, or more accurately, misuse of social media is one that is frequently in the headlines, and this is never more true than when it involves an educator. Recently the New Jersey...more

NJ Whistleblowers May Face Criminal Charges for Theft of Company Documents

The Supreme Court of New Jersey affirms an employee’s indictment for taking an employer’s confidential documents without authorization, allegedly to support discrimination and retaliation claims. In a decision issued on...more

SEE YOU IN COURT – June 2015

Last year, Mal Content ran for the Nutmeg Board of Education on a platform of constituent service, with advertisements promising, “Tell me your problems, and I will find you solutions.” Despite Mal’s grand promises, he was...more

Appellate Court Confirms that Convicted Felon Cannot Run for School Board Seat

On May 13, 2015, the Illinois Appellate Court’s First District held that the former Board President of an Illinois high school district’s Board of Education was ineligible to fill a vacancy on the board following his previous...more

How Does the Supreme Court’s Recent Facebook Decision Impact Schools?

In a recent decision, Elonis v. United States, the U.S. Supreme Court held that in order to convict a man for alleged threats made against his wife on Facebook, the prosecutor must show some level of intent. It was not enough...more

Construction Corner: Selecting an Architect for Your School Construction Project

Last week, we discussed the importance of evaluating the capabilities of your initial project team to assess the need for a third party project manager. This week we will focus on selecting the architect who will best serve...more

NC Legislative Update for April 2015 #2

This Week - The General Assembly was back in motion this week as lawmakers returned to Raleigh following a week-long spring break. House members were met with a Tuesday deadline to file public bills, which resulted in...more

Handling Student Sexual Assault In K-12 Schools

In March, U.S. News & World Report featured a lengthy story provocatively titled, “High Schools and Middle Schools Are Failing Victims of Sexual Assault.” In addition to documenting situations where schools allegedly...more

April 1 Deadline for Posting School Board Member E-Mail Addresses Online Approaches

As we reported in our 2014 Legislative Update, a recent law requires every school district that maintains a traditional website to post on that website a mechanism for members of the public to electronically communicate with...more

Court Reverses Board Decision Terminating Teacher for Blood Alcohol Test

An Illinois Appellate Court recently overturned the 2012 dismissal of a teacher who was terminated for being under the influence while at work. The opinion provides instructive guidance on how courts closely analyze a school...more

ERISA: Sometimes A Government Employee’s Benefits Could Be Governed By ERISA?

You already know that employee benefit plans established by governmental entities are exempt from ERISA. But ERISA might apply if the employee benefit for the government employee is established through an association....more

Common Core Redux: Is There a Solution To The “Opt Out” Debate?

Almost exactly a year ago, my colleagues Michael P. McKeon and Zachary D. Schurin penned a piece on this blog that explored the deceptively simple question of whether parents could “legally” opt their children out of the...more

Eighth Circuit: Custodian Failed to Establish Constructive Discharge Following Wife's Public Comments

A school custodian’s hours and work assignments were changed six days after his wife spoke about eliminating the superintendent’s position at a school board meeting about budgetary issues. The custodian’s reassignment...more

Bribery Is Not a Free Speech Right, Judge Says

In late 2012, a California district attorney’s office obtained an indictment charging 18 defendants, including school board members, administrators and contractors, with conspiracy, bribery, perjury, filing false gift reports...more

The Feds Are Watching: Equitable Allocations In School Budgets

It is indisputable that education forms the cornerstone of a productive society. What is frequently disputed, however, is what that cornerstone should cost, and just as every year swallows return to San Juan Capistrano, so...more

Limits of Supreme Court Ruling on Public Prayer Tested in Lawsuit Against California District

As our firm reported earlier this year, the Supreme Court recently held that sectarian invocations at public meetings do not automatically violate the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which separates church and...more

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