Public Schools

News & Analysis as of

Alert: DOJ Puts Pressure on Schools and Ed Techs to Provide Accessible Educational Technology

In our last alert on the growing interaction between ed tech and disability law, we noted that the Department of Justice ("DOJ") appears to be moving to extend the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA") to...more

Recent Legislative Session Brings Increased State Oversight of Connecticut Charter Schools

The most recent legislative session brought about a number of changes to laws regarding charter schools. These changes focused mainly on increasing State oversight to ensure that State charter schools are properly run and...more

Student Data Concerns Give Rise to Proposed Changes in Federal Education Privacy Laws

It has been over 40 years since Congress initially passed the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA”) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g), also referred to as the “Buckley Amendment” after its primary Congressional sponsor. ...more

New Jersey Family-School Partnership Act Seeks to Provide Leave for Involvement in School Activities

Another bill (S2935) proposed by New Jersey Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg on May 19, 2015, would require employers with at least 25 employees to permit their employees to take up to 40 hours of leave to participate...more

ISBE Issues Guidance and Forms Regarding Vaccination Religious Exemptions

On Tuesday, the Illinois State Board of Education issued guidance on recent changes to immunization requirements for students. As we reported last week, recent legislation requires a new meningitis vaccine for sixth and...more

SCHOOLING AND DIVORCE

As summer comes to an end, it is important to remember divorced or non-intact families must approach their child’s schooling a little differently than intact families. For example, many intact families designate one parent to...more

Major Changes to Laws Protecting Minors: Pennsylvania as Bellwether for New Child Protection Legislation?

In the wake of several high-profile cases of child abuse, Pennsylvania’s General Assembly has been on the vanguard of state legislatures’ efforts to reduce the risk of harm to children. Since 2013, Pennsylvania’s lawmakers...more

OSEP Dear Colleague Letter Reminds Districts to Consider Speech/Language Needs for Students with Autism

The Office for Special Education Programs (“OSEP”) within the U.S. Department of Education recently issued a “Dear Colleague Letter” indicating its concern that students with autism may not be receiving necessary speech and...more

Location, Location, Location: The Property Underneath the Feet of Speakers Matters When Determining Whether A Public Institution...

Benjamin Bloedorn is an itinerant preacher who travels from college campus to college campus, loudly proclaiming his evangelical message for hours on end to anyone within earshot. In March 2008 he arrived at Georgia Southern...more

The ABCs of COPPA Compliance

In today’s environment – when data breaches seem to be in the news nearly every day – the media, regulators and many others are hyper-focused on privacy issues. Schools and educational institutions are no exception when it...more

Judge Moon and Civil Rights Lawsuits Against Bedford County Public Schools

Judge Moon has ruled on two cases in the past month involving constitutional civil rights issues and public schools. In L.E.A. v. Bedford County School Board, Judge Moon denied a preliminary injunction prohibiting the...more

Does NC Law Prohibit Employers From Acting on Drunk Facebook Behavior?

In recent years, numerous employers have fired or taken other disciplinary action against employees based on antics posted on social media sites. The classic example of such reaction involves parents who discover that their...more

US Supreme Court Holds that Student’s Statement to Teacher can be Admitted at Trial

The U.S. Supreme Court (the “Court”) recently issued a unanimous decision as to whether or not prosecutors could introduce statements at trial when a child is not available for cross examination. The Court’s decision has...more

SEE YOU IN COURT – July/August 2015

Mr. Superintendent couldn’t believe that it is already again time for negotiations with the Nutmeg Union of Teachers (NUTS). However, when Mr. Superintendent told Mr. Chairman that teacher negotiations are coming up and...more

A Tax Policy Decided 15 Years Ago Raised Questions for Unending Debate

We are just a few months away from the 15th anniversary of the historic November, 2000, election when Massachusetts voters approved a referendum calling for the reduction of the state income tax rate from 5.95% to 5%. No...more

Court Calls Lease-Leaseback Project What it is: A Design-Bid-Build Project

First there was “Prince.” Then there was “The Artist Formerly Known As Prince.” Then there was “The Artist Formerly Known As Prince Because he Changed His Name to a Symbol, But Then Realized That No One Could...more

Plaintiff Seeks to Use Anti-Discrimination Law to Stop Fracking

On July 14, a complaint was filed in Sacramento County Superior Court against Governor Brown and the Division of Oil, Gas & Geothermal Resources (“DOGGR”) Supervisor Steve Bohlen.  The lawsuit claims Governor Brown and...more

Privacy and Security Guidance: Cloud Computing in the MUSH Sector

I. Purpose of this Guidance Document and How to Apply - This document is intended to be used by decision makers in the MUSH Sector when considering using cloud services....more

SDE Weighs in on Parents’ Right to Independent Educational Evaluations

The Connecticut State Department of Education (“SDE”) recently issued a guidance memorandum providing its interpretation of when a parent is entitled to a publicly funded independent educational evaluation (“IEE”) under the...more

Michigan Governor Signs Early Warning Legislation for Financially Distressed School Districts with Immediate Effect

On July 7, Michigan Governor Snyder signed into law a package of bills, all with immediate effect and most with a tie bar to at least one of the other bills in the package, creating an early warning system to identify the...more

Delaware Student Data Privacy Protection Act Awaits Governor’s Signature

With the continuing push for more prolific and creative use of technology in Kindergarten through 12th grade classrooms, student data has become more valuable, and the protection of that data of greater concern. In the face...more

“Enough is Enough” Legislation Becomes Law: New York Education Law Article 129-B Establishes New Requirements for New York State...

On July 7, 2015, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law legislation that will, once again, change the way public and private colleges and universities in New York (“higher education institutions”) must respond to...more

New Hampshire Enacts Breach Notification Requirement for the Department of Education

The state of New Hampshire recently enacted House Bill 322 (“HB 322”), which requires the Department of Education (“DOE”) to implement additional procedures to protect student and teacher data from security breaches. Those...more

Teacher has Certification Suspended for One Year Following Facebook Posts that Ridicule Student’s Name

The issue of disciplining employees for their use, or more accurately, misuse of social media is one that is frequently in the headlines, and this is never more true than when it involves an educator. Recently the New Jersey...more

Financing and an Extended Lease Term Now Required For Enforceable Lease-Leasebacks in California

On June 1, 2015, a California Court of Appeal held that in order for a lease-leaseback arrangement to be enforceable, the lease must be “genuine”, containing both a financing component and a lease term that extends beyond the...more

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