Public Schools

News & Analysis as of

Office for Civil Rights Issues Dear Colleague Letter: Restraint and Seclusion of Students With Disabilities

On December 28, 2016, the Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights (OCR), issued four guidance documents concerning students with disabilities. Along with two frequently asked questions documents concerning students...more

CAS Legal Mailbag Question of the Week – January, 2017

Dear Legal Mailbag: As a new principal, I think that I have been a little intense and, frankly, I don’t think that I have been very popular with the staff members at my school. As a New Year’s resolution, I have decided...more

How to Get an A+ On Your Next Hire

When it comes to filling vacant positions at your school, you not only need to find the best talent available, but you also need to locate faculty and administrators who will thrive in your unique community. In many cases,...more

The Third Circuit Court Of Appeals Denies Teacher Qualified Immunity Under The “State-Created Danger” Theory Where The Teacher...

L.R. v. School Dist. of Philadelphia et. al. No. 14-4640 (3rd. Cir. Sept. 6, 2016). The Third Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed an Order from the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania denying...more

Court Holds School Districts Not Barred by State Law from Prohibiting Firearms on School Property

In two separate cases, a Michigan Court of Appeals panel determined that state law does not preempt public school policies relating to the possession of firearms in schools and at school-sponsored events. In the lead case,...more

Website Accessiblity - An Introduction to the Problem and Best Practices for Education Agencies and Schools

Are you reading this article on a computer? I would venture to guess that you are. How did you access this page? Did you have to navigate through multiple web pages? While you were at it, were you surfing the internet,...more

Successful Implementation of Restorative Justice Practices

The passage of legislation mandating consideration of Restorative Justice in schools marks a movement away from "zero tolerance" by requiring schools to consider a number of mitigating factors or alternatives before...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

Connecticut Federal Court Expands Title VII Protections to Sexual Orientation

In Boutillier v. Hartford Public Schools, No. 3:13-CV-01303-WWE (November 17, 2016), a Connecticut district court held that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination based on an individual’s sexual...more

Michigan Court of Appeals Holds that Schools May Ban Firearms from School Property

In two published decisions, issued on December 16, 2016, the Michigan Court of Appeals has held that schools and school districts have the legal authority to forbid the possession of firearms on school premises. The...more

In Legislative Foray vs. Principals, School Custodians Gain a Short-Lived Victory

On December 1, both the Massachusetts House and Senate enacted a bill during informal sessions that would have made it harder for public school principals to fire custodians and other non-teaching employees for not doing...more

Restorative Justice Bills Await Governor's Signature

A set of bills, recently enrolled and awaiting the Governor's signature, will radically alter the landscape of student disciplinary action in Michigan. House Bills 5618, 5619, 5620, 5621, 5693, 5694 and 5695 (collectively,...more

CAS Legal Mailbag Question of the Week – December, 2016 #3

Dear Legal Mailbag: As a principal of an elementary school, I do what I can to make our school part of the community. One of my great ideas is Community Announcements, a section on our district website that I started...more

2016 Year in Review

As 2016 draws to a close, so does the 2015-2016 legislative session. On November 30, the House of Representatives and the Senate adjourned sine die, and no bills will be introduced or considered until the new General Assembly...more

2017 California Construction Law Update

To say it’s been an exciting year in politics would be an understatement. While most of the nation’s attention was focused on the presidential election, state legislatures, including California’s, were busy at work. The...more

CAS Legal Mailbag Question of the Week - December, 2016 #2

Dear Legal Mailbag: Ever since the election, everyone seems out of sorts. Case in point, one of our teachers put up a sign in her classroom, and now a student and his father are demanding that we take it down or put...more

How to Prepare for Your First IEP Meeting

Public schools are required to create an Individualized Education Program (IEP) for each child receiving special education services. This legally binding document outlines the educational program and special services that a...more

Appellate Court Determines that Student Handbook is not a Contract

In Mulvey v. Carl Sandberg High School et al., a family sued its school district and various district officials and coaches alleging breach of contract for the District’s alleged failure to enforce the anti-bullying policies...more

CAS Legal Mailbag Question of the Week – December, 2016

Dear Legal Mailbag: Last week, I met a lovely couple who stopped by my office to visit. They live just down the street from my school and they are homeschooling their two children who would otherwise be in grades 2 and...more

Employment Matters – UK - November 2016

Autumn Statement – Employment Issues The Chancellor has issued an autumn statement setting out certain proposed fiscal changes in the UK. One of these is to the Employee Shareholder Status (ESS) regime, which is set to...more

Supreme Court of Pennsylvania Holds That Individuals Have A Constitutional Right To Privacy In Their Home Addresses And Other...

Pennsylvania State Education Association v. Commonwealth, 2016 Pa. LEXIS 2337, 2016 WL 6087684, (Pa. Oct. 18, 2016) (“PSEA”). The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania recently held that individuals have a constitutional right to...more

Donating hotel toiletries to poor schools or women’s shelters.

I left a three-day conference at a 5-star resort and packed up two nights’ worth of quality hotel soap, shampoo, conditioner, lotion, shower gel, shower caps, sewing kits, and pocket combs to bring home and donate to poor...more

Year-End Tax Planning with Tax Credit-Funded Scholarships

The Alabama Accountability Act provides state income tax credits to certain donors who make contributions to a state-approved scholarship granting organization (SGO). Alabama’s neediest school children can be helped at little...more

CAS Legal Mailbag Question of the Week – November, 2016 #3

Dear Legal Mailbag: - I am an avid fan of free legal advice, and I read your Legal Mailbag column whenever it appears. You answered a question last week about an FOIA request concerning the written evaluations of a...more

Supreme Court Update: Order List November 2016

The Court has been relatively quiet since our last missive—we're still waiting for the first signed opinion of the term—but we suspect your minds have been focused on other branches of government over the last few weeks...more

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