Public School Boards

News & Analysis as of

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

Conduct Unbecoming: Disciplining Educators For Non-School-Related Behavior

The involvement of a Connecticut middle school Principal and a middle school Guidance Counselor in the writing and production of films the media has described as being replete with female nudity, violence and sexually...more

Tax Increment Financing and Tax Abatement Programs: The Part You Play

School districts in Ohio play a very important role in tax increment financing and tax abatement programs. At a minimum, school districts receive notice that a city, county, or township will be approving a property tax...more

Connecticut's Tenure Reform In The Wake of Vergara v. State of California

In a 1789 letter, Benjamin Franklin made the now oft-quoted observation that “in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” For many years, however, that certitude has been equally applicable in...more

Appellate Court Notes

SC19191 - Dorry v. Garden - The Supreme Court held that the accidental failure of suit statute saves a complaint that is not properly served within the original statute of limitations period, no matter how defective...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

Warning-Your E-mail Just Became a Meeting: Mauer v. Member, Board of Education, Regional School District No. 1 and The Dangers of...

Often times, I will warn school board members against the use of e-mail to conduct board business. My primary concern is that such e-mails could be deemed to constitute an illegal un-noticed/non-public meeting, in violation...more

The FOIA and Superintendent Evaluations: Toensing and The Various Components of The Evaluation

When evaluating superintendents of schools, school boards usually seek to synthesize the views of individual board members into a collective voice for the board. In Toensing v. Chairman, All Boards Chairs Committee, Regional...more

Attorney General Finds School Board Closed Session Discussion Of Demolition Of School Building Violated Open Meetings Act

Last month, the Public Access Counselor (PAC) of the Illinois Attorney General’s Office issued an opinion finding that the Board of Education of Springfield School District 186 improperly discussed the planned demolition of a...more

OCR Clarifies Dear Colleague Letter On Students With Disabilities In Extracurricular Athletics

The U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights (OCR) recently replied to a letter from the National School Boards Association (NSBA) seeking clarification on OCR’s January 25, 2013 Dear Colleague Letter on students...more

LCFF Update

On November 7th, the State Board of Education (“SBE”) met to review proposed regulations implementing the “proportionality requirement” and the Local Control and Accountability Plan (“LCAP”) framework under the Local Control...more

Court Finds Board Of Education And District Employees Immune From Liability For Claims Related To District’s Response To Bullying

The Illinois Appellate Court recently held that a superintendent, principal, and board of education were immune from liability for a parent’s claims regarding the alleged bullying of her daughter. In Hascall v. Williams,...more

Argument Report: Who Gets to Appeal Certification as a Pollution Control Facility?

A major taxpayer files 28 separate applications seeking certification of various systems, methods, devices and facilities as "pollution control facilities" within the meaning of the Property Tax Code. If the applications are...more

New Law Requires School Boards To Adopt Teen Dating Violence Policy

Earlier this month, Governor Quinn signed into law Public Act 098-0190, which amends the Critical Health Problems and Comprehensive Health Education Act to require all school boards to develop and adopt a policy on teen...more

PK Law Attorneys Successfully Defend Charles County Board Against Multi-Million Dollar Wage and Hour Lawsuit

In a wage and hour class action suit that was filed in Maryland’s federal district court, bus drivers and bus assistants sued under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), 29 U.S. C. Section 201 et seq., for back-pay,...more

Board Candidate Files Suit After State’s Attorney Serves Quo Warranto Action

In Parker v. Lyons, 2013 WL 1624336 (C.D. Ill. 2013), a candidate filed a nominating petition with the requisite number of signatures and was later served with a quo warranto action by the State’s Attorney. The quo warranto...more

Religious Institutions Update: February 2013

Last February, at the request of Senate Finance Committee member Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), the Commission on Accountability and Policy for Religious Organizations was formed to address tax-related policy questions of import...more

Illinois Appellate Court Finds Schools Not Liable For Student Injury And Deaths In Two Separate Lawsuits

Last fall, the Illinois Appellate Court issued opinions on two different cases involving the tort immunity of school districts. In both cases, the court declined to find the schools liable....more

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