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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

Inside the New York Budget Bill: 30-Day Amendments

On Friday, February 20, 2015, Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office released the 30-Day Amendments to the 2015–2016 New York State Executive Budget Legislation (Budget Bill). This year, instead of the usual set of corrections and...more

Client Alert: IRS Announcement on February 9, 2015, Requires Review of Charter Schools Tax Status

On November 8, 2011, the IRS and Treasury Department published an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“2011 Advance Notice”) that posed a threat to charter school participation in public pension plan systems. The 2011...more

School District Gets Expensive Lesson on Prompt Payment Law. But Did the Court Get it Right?

My kids don’t like riding in my car. I urge them to look outside the window (I don’t have DVD), suggest that they roll down their windows to get some fresh air (rather than have me turn on the A/C) and persist on...more

It Takes More Than a Village: Protecting Student Privacy in the Age of Big Data

High-profile data breaches and cyber-attacks on well-known brands and businesses have dominated the news cycle for more than a year. Yet during the same time, less visible, but no less important efforts have been made to...more

Facebook Post Lands Teacher in Hot Water

On January 18, 2015, two South Hills High School teachers were arrested for allegedly having sexual relations with students at the beach. According to the Orange County Sherriff’s Department, one of the teachers, Melody...more

Measles Outbreak in Illinois

The current measles cluster in the Chicago area has school districts on heightened alert. Following is a short summary of preventative steps and guidance issued by the Illinois Department of Public Health. This alert is...more

School’s Out: COPPA’s Limiting Reach in the Classroom

On January 23, 2015, Senior Attorney Lesley Fair at the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) posted on the Agency’s business blog clarifying how the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (“COPPA”) applies to schools. COPPA...more

Construction Alert: School District Flunks Public Contract Code Exam on Withholding Retention

On January 27, 2015, the Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, affirmed, in part, a hefty trial judgment against the Rio School District for improperly withholding retention funds in the case of FTR International, Inc....more

California School Teacher’s Claim That She Was Fired Due to a Computer Error

Rommel v. Los Angeles Unified School District, No. B253405 (December 5, 2014): In a recent unpublished ruling, the California Court of Appeal reversed a trial court’s judgment in favor of a school district and against a...more

Illinois Supreme Court Will Review “Bleacher” Case

Last September in this Alert, we discussed an opinion in which the Second District Appellate Court ruled that Community High School District 155 was subject to the zoning regulations of the City of Crystal Lake, a home rule...more

Reminder - Maryland's Prevailing Wage Law for Elementary and Secondary School Construction Projects is in Effect

Maryland's new prevailing wage law for elementary and secondary school construction projects (HB 727/SB 232 from the 2014 General Assembly session) is in effect. This law requires all such construction projects costing more...more

CDC Issues Guidance on School Ebola Risk Assessment and Response

Many will recall the recent incident where a Connecticut school district barred a student, who had recently returned from Lagos, Nigeria, from school for twenty-one days due to Ebola concerns. While the propriety of the...more

NC Politics In The News

WINSTON-SALEM JOURNAL: New economic development strategy is in the works Gov. Pat McCrory said Thursday that he is working on a new economic development strategy for North Carolina, but it is too early to release details....more

Status Updates - January 2015 #5

Pupils, passwords and privacy. A law that went into effect on January1st has the parents of some Illinois school children asking themselves how much of their children’s privacy they’re willing to forgo to keep cyberbullying...more

What Can Schools Expect from this Connecticut General Assembly Session?

On January 7, 2015, the 2015 session of the Connecticut General Assembly began. Adjournment is scheduled for June 3, 2015. We can expect that a plethora of proposed bills affecting Connecticut school districts will be...more

Department of Education Closes 2014 with Prolific Guidance

The U.S. Department of Education (DOE) was busy the last quarter of 2014, issuing guidance on six issues, plus another already in 2015. The Dear Colleague Letters (DCL), Frequently Asked Questions, and Fact Sheets provide an...more

Retrench of DOJ’s Equitable Sharing Program Could be Boon to N.C. Schools

“Equitable Sharing” sounds so reasonable. Who could argue with it? Here’s what it is, and what it does: The Justice Department’s Equitable Sharing program allows federal law enforcement agencies to “adopt” seizures of...more

New student data privacy laws: top points for school contractors and K-12 education sites, apps and online services

According to the Data Quality Campaign, 36 states considered 110 student data privacy bills in 2014, and 20 states enacted 28 such bills into law. At least eight of these new laws may have significant implications for...more

Can Public Schools Ban “I Can’t Breathe” T-Shirts?

Citing safety concerns, Fort Bragg High School, a public high school located in Mendocino County CA, decided on December 26, 2014 to ban athletes from wearing t-shirts with the slogan “I Can’t Breathe” – the words uttered by...more

School District Advisory: The Pure and Simple Truth - The Truth is Rarely Plain and Never Simple

In the recent case of J.P. v. Carlsbad Unified School District, the California Court of Appeal barred a public entity from enforcing the six-month government tort claim requirement when it prevents the claimant from filing a...more

Minnesota Overturns Precedent By Extending Whistleblower Statute of Limitations

On December 15, the Court of Appeals for the state of Minnesota made a decision that reversed 20 years of precedent by extending the Minnesota Whistleblower Act’s statute of limitations from two to six years. The decision...more

Bullying Can Cost Your School – And Your Students, And Their Parents

School bullying is one of the most pressing social, health, and educational concerns facing public and private schools alike. Long-term bullying, left unaddressed by schools or parents, can cause lasting physical and...more

School Districts: New York State Amends Real Property Tax Law to Allow School Districts to "Charge Back" Tax Refunds to School...

On December 29, 2014, Governor Cuomo signed a law granting school districts the authority to "charge back" real property tax certiorari refunds to school district public libraries. Until now, school districts that levied real...more

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