Public School Boards

News & Analysis as of

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

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

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

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

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