Public Schools

News & Analysis as of

CAS Legal Mailbag Question of the Week

As a high school administrator, from time to time I have to attend expulsion hearings. It is an unpleasant but necessary part of my job, and most hearings run smoothly because the student admits to his or her misconduct....more

School Data Privacy: Challenges and Best Practices

Schools collect, maintain, use and disclose a large amount of sensitive information of students and employees, including educational records, Social Security numbers, health plan information and health care records (medical,...more

High School Football Players Dying on the Field

If your child is a high school athlete, how much attention do you need to pay to the risks of serious and fatal sports-related injuries? A recent article in Reuters reported on the death of a New Jersey high school football...more

SEE YOU IN COURT – November 2015

Negotiations with the Nutmeg Union of Teachers (NUTS) went better than usual this year. NUTS did not waste a lot of time trying to usurp management rights, and it focused instead on the bread-and-butter issues of salary and...more

School Districts: New Continuing Education and Registration Requirements Still on the Horizon for 2016-2017 (11/15)

In the same budget bill that enacted Education Law § 3012-d, the State legislature also statutorily codified substantive requirements in an area that has, up until now, been under the exclusive purview of the Commissioner of...more

Failure To Disclose Tax Returns Results In Rescission Of Back Pay Award

In the Matter of Arbitration between Hollidaysburg School District and AFSCME Council 83 (June 30, 2015). Arbitrator rescinds back pay award after Grievant refuses to turn over tax records to verify that she did not receive...more

OCR Finds Title IX Violation for School District’s Prohibition of Transgender Student’s Use of Locker Room

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) recently concluded that a public school district in Illinois violated Title IX both by prohibiting a transgender high school student from using the locker...more

Three Things You Need To Know: School Ordered To Allow Girls' Locker Room Access To Transgender Student

Should anatomically male transgender high school students who identify as female be allowed to use female locker rooms? In what has been described as a “momentous” decision, the Department of Education Office of Civil Rights...more

CAS Legal Mailbag Question of the Week - 10/30/2015

Dear Legal Mailbag: Technology is great. My school received a big school safety grant, and we bought a bunch of security cameras. In fact, I think that we record every step my students take in the building other than in...more

Hypnotic Suggestion: North Port High School and the Complicity of Indifference

Concluding what must be one of the oddest public school disputes in recent memory, the Sarasota County Board of Education in Florida has agreed to resolve a lawsuit brought by three sets of parents, each of whom claimed that...more

News from Second and State

As the Fall wears on with still no budget in place, some members decided this week to try a new approach to address the funding needs of schools and human services agencies. Rep. Dan Moul (R-Adams) and Rep. Stephen Bloom...more

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Establishes Test For Specificity Under The Right To Know Law

Pennsylvania Department of Education v. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 2015 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 316 (Pa. Commw. Ct. July 14, 2015). Pennsylvania Supreme Court reverses the Office of Open records and holds that a request must meet...more

News from Second and State

It was a short and sweet session week, since Monday was a national holiday and only the Senate met for voting session, and there’s little to report on the legislative front. The headliner this week was the Senate’s largely...more

Legislature Limits Ability of School Districts to Expel their Youngest Students

Among the many legislative changes from the most recent session of the General Assembly, one involves modifications to the rules for student suspensions and expulsions. Specifically, Public Act 15-96 restricts the ability of...more

CAS Legal Mailbag Question of the Week – 10/16/15

At my school, we like to treat everyone like family. Over the years, we have been more than happy to help publicize various events and causes for members of our school “family.” Whenever a parent or other community member has...more

SEE YOU IN COURT – October 2015

Bob Bombast, veteran member of the Nutmeg Board of Education, has been vocal in his opposition to state testing based on the Common Core State Standards. When Mr. Superintendent reported last month on the poor test results...more

News from Second and State

As promised last week, on Wednesday the House of Representatives held a vote on a portion of Governor Wolf’s budget proposal. The proposal was not a General Appropriations or “revenue spending bill”; it was a legislative...more

School Leaders: Are Your Automatic Phone Messages and Texts Breaking The Law?

In the past few months, we’ve had a flurry of requests from schools about the legality of automated calls and text messages they are making to cell phones. The Telecommunications Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) governs the...more

CAS Legal Mailbag Question of the Week – 10/9/15

One of my teachers is a nosy parker, and she is always getting involved in things that are none of her business, at least officially. I have tried to ignore her because I have better things to do, but it looks like she got...more

2015 Legislative Update: Summary Of Changes In School Law

ADMINISTRATION - LALI’S LAW (HEROIN CRISIS ACT) - Public Act 99-0480 - Effective Date: September 9, 2015 - School districts, public schools, or nonpublic schools may now authorize a school nurse or trained...more

Transcending Gender In Schools: Is Gender Neutral The New Normal?

In Missouri, a 17-year-old student who was born male, but has identified as female since he was 13, chose to use the girls’ locker room during gym class. That decision sparked outrage in the school community and led to...more

Have You Posted Your “No Vaping” Signs?

A recent state law, effective October 1, 2015, prohibits the use electronic nicotine delivery systems or vapor products in school buildings, among other public locales. In addition, the law requires the person in control of...more

Questions Remain About Social Media Privacy Rights During Workplace Investigations

Employees’ social media activities often play a key role in workplace investigations. For example, an employee may complain that a coworker sent a harassing Facebook message or posted something offensive on Twitter...more

Real Estate and Land Use - September 2015 #2

Use It or Lose It: San Clemente Required to Refund $10 Million in Unused Impact Fees: Walker v. City of San Clemente (August 28, 2015, G050552) - Why It Matters: In a strict reading of a local agency’s...more

Alert: Student Data Privacy: States Keep Up the Momentum

While Congress continues to consider (but not act on) nationwide student data privacy initiatives, the states continued to lead the charge in 2015. Earlier this year, we reported that, in 2014, 36 states introduced 110...more

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