Public School Boards

News & Analysis as of

DeVos Confirmed, Oral Arguments Set in Gloucester County, and Congress Introduces Education Legislation

Last week, the United States Senate voted to confirm Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education. DeVos’ confirmation hearings were contentious, as telephone switchboards in Congress were flooded with constituent calls opposing her...more

See You In Court! - January 2017

For years, the Nutmeg Board of Education has invited members of the public to comment at the beginning of its meetings. Last year, the Board adopted some new rules and even printed those rules on the bottom of the agenda: ...more

PAC Ruling Further Clarifies Impermissible Restrictions on Public Comment

One of the most legally perilous jobs of a school board is to preside over the public participation portion of a meeting. The key for a board is to balance its need to run efficient and orderly meetings with the ability of...more

SCOTUS Grimm decision could impact CFPB position on ECOA protection for gender identity and sexual orientation

On October 28, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court granted the petition for a writ of certiorari in Grimm v. Gloucester County School Board, a decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit that marked the first time...more

See You In Court! – November 2016

Bob Bombast, veteran member of the Nutmeg Board of Education, couldn’t believe that he has never attended the CABE Convention before. When he finally signed up and attended the 2016 Convention, he was surprised by and...more

See You In Court! - July/August 2016

Out of the blue, Nancy Newshound, longtime reporter for the Nutmeg Bugle called Mr. Superintendent. “I understand that a student hacked the district’s system and changed a bunch of grades,” she stated. “What can you tell me...more

CAS Legal Mailbag Question of the Week – June 2016 #2

Dear Legal Mailbag: Last month, the fifth grade classes at my school went on a field trip to a canning factory. In hindsight, it was not my finest moment as a principal. I was late in having the teachers send out the...more

See You In Court - June 2016

Given the chronic underfunding of education in Nutmeg by the Board of Finance and its irascible Chairperson, Seymour Dollars, the Nutmeg Board of Education has had to be careful in its spending on discretionary issues,...more

OCPS Implements Changes to Capacity Enhancement & School Concurrency Processes

Orange County Public Schools (OCPS) recently implemented a number of changes to the Capacity Enhancement and School Concurrency review processes, which should result in shortened approval timeframes and other cost and time...more

CAS Legal Mailbag Question of the Week – April 2016 #2

Dear Legal Mailbag: I am blessed, I think, because a wealthy new family just enrolled two children in my school, and the father has taken a great interest in our facilities. He can come on a bit strong with his...more

See You In Court - April 2016

The Nutmeg Board of Education has not expelled a student for over two years. Not because Nutmeg students are so compliant, however, but rather because the Board appointed a hearing officer two years ago to conduct expulsion...more

Recap: Board Member Roles and Responsibilities

As the board of directors for the school district, board of education members have a unique variety of responsibilities to meet and roles to fill. Among their many duties, board members are expected to work collaboratively...more

Open Discussion of Pending Grievances Permitted At School Board Meetings

Abington Heights School District (Case No. PERA-C-11-221-E) (Pa. LRB 2015) (Decided December 15, 2015). A Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board hearing examiner determined that the District was permitted to openly discuss...more

Fifth Circuit Provides Guidance on Who Has Standing to Pursue an FCA Retaliation Claim

In United States ex rel. Bias v. Tangipahoa Parish School Bd., — F.3d —-, 2016 WL 906227 (5th Cir. 2016), the Fifth Circuit provided guidance on the scope of individuals with standing to bring an FCA retaliation claim under...more

So You Need A New Board Member: Legal Concerns When Filling Vacancies

For better or worse, elected municipal officials (such as school board members) are sometimes unable to complete their term of office, and thus boards of education are faced with having to fill vacancies. Here is a brief...more

The Governance – Achievement Link

Barely a week goes by without the reporting of our ongoing and seemingly endless national debate about public education and the quality of our nations’ schools. This debate typically invokes such topics as testing,...more

Non-Renewal of Administrator Contracts

The deadlines are approaching for non-renewal of administrative contracts. Administrator contracts are governed by Section 1229 of the School Code, MCL 380.1229, which contains two crucial deadlines for non-renewing an...more

Dazed and Confused: A Look at Medical Marijuana and Ontario Schools

As the Canadian medical marijuana industry continues to expand and evolve at a rapid pace, unintended gaps have begun to appear across a wide spectrum of legislation. One such gap currently exists in the Ontario school system...more

Circuit Court Holds that Public Body May Not Discuss Election of Officers in Closed Session

In Denton v. City Council for the City of Hopewell, CL 2015-71 (Hopewell Cir. Ct. 2015), a suit brought under the Virginia Freedom of Information Act, Va. Code §§ 2.2-3700 et seq., (“FOIA”), the Hopewell Circuit Court...more

School Boards Beware: Appellate Court Applies High Bar for School Board Ignoring Hearing Officer’s Findings of Fact

The Illinois Appellate Court (Fifth District) recently reversed a school board’s decision to dismiss a tenured teacher for failure to comply with a notice to remedy. This case confirms that while school boards have...more

Supreme Court Rules in Favor of School District in Building Project Referendum Challenge: Substance Trumps Form

School districts often find themselves in the precarious position of having to rely upon the outcome of a referendum for passage of a budget or building project while simultaneously having no control over the conduct of the...more

See You In Court – December 2015

With the holiday season in full swing, the Nutmeg Board of Education has been having difficulty getting a quorum to attend its meetings. The meeting last week was delayed by forty-five minutes as the Board members present...more

New Reporting Requirement for Virginia School Boards

Beginning in July 2015, Virginia school boards and institutions of higher learning have been subject to new mandatory reporting requirements regarding the method of procurement used to obtain contracts for certain...more

ISBE Issues Guidance on Teacher Resignations

The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) has issued non-regulatory guidance regarding the application of Section 24-14 of the Illinois School Code to teacher resignations. Section 24-14 of the School Code provides...more

Charlotte General Election Newsletter

Election Analysis - Consistent with past local elections, less than 15 percent of registered voters turned out to the Charlotte general election yesterday. Democrats again dominated the polls, holding the mayoral office...more

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