Public Schools

News & Analysis as of

Summary of 2014 Connecticut Legislative Enactments Affecting The Public Schools and Public-Sector Employers

In This Issue: - Interpreters Standards For Students With Hearing Impairments - Preschool And DCF - Health Assessment Forms for Use by Youth Camps and Day Care Providers - English Language Learner...more

When The Teacher Is The School Bully

Anti-bullying laws may now have a significant impact on what is considered to be “emotional abuse” in schools. Recently, the Connecticut Supreme Court concluded that a teacher’s bullying behavior toward a student met the...more

Student Can Be Eligible For Special Education With Both A Specific Learning Disability And Other Health Impairment At The Same...

In E. M. v. Pajaro Valley Unified School District (July 15, 2014) No. 12-15743, the Ninth Circuit recently held that a student with an auditory processing disorder could be eligible for special education and related services...more

Personnel Deadlines For the 2014-2015 School Year

Reassignment of surplus personnel: When actual student enrollment in a grade level or program, unforeseen before March 1, 2014, permits the assignment of fewer teachers or service personnel to or within a school, the county...more

Public Bleachers Constructed Prior to the ADA Don't Need Additional Improvements if a Viable Alternative is Offered

Published Case Provides Blueprint for Viable Alternative Seating - The Ninth Circuit has ruled that the Americans with Disabilities Act does not require a public entity to structurally alter existing bleacher seating...more

Social Media Freedom of Expression Cases Pit the Public Against Public Officials

In perhaps the next battleground for government and education, citizens who comment on social media sites are facing off with local government officials public and school administrators who find their online expression...more

Summertime Blues: T.M. v. Cornwall and The Mainstreaming of Extended-School-Year Programs

In a decision that will likely result in both practical challenges and financial burdens for public school districts, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit held in T.M. v. Cornwall Central School District...more

Race-Based Admissions and Assignment Policies Survive Another Legal Challenge in Fisher v. University of Texas

Last year, I blogged about the impact of a higher education Supreme Court diversity case, Fisher v. University of Texas on K-12 schools. As discussed in that blog, although the decision was a higher education decision, it...more

Environmental Considerations For School Construction

School construction projects present special challenges and must be carefully managed to ensure that environmental issues are safely and well-handled and the health and safety of the school population is protected. New...more

ISBE Releases Non-Regulatory Guidance on Recall Rights for Honorably Dismissed Teachers in Group 2

As we reported last month, recently enacted Public Act 098-0648 gives limited recall rights to honorably dismissed teachers placed in Group 2 who have one “needs improvement” rating. Effective July 1, 2014, Public Act...more

Redeveloping Redevelopment: Recent Legislation

THE RISE AND (UNINTENDED) FALL OF REDEVELOPMENT IN CALIFORNIA. The rise and fall of redevelopment agencies in California has been extensively written about, including in this publication. The history of redevelopment...more

New Process for Conflict Resolution in WV Schools

Beginning in August, school districts will need to prepare for a new process to address conflicts and complaints from citizens. On August 11, the new/amended process, known as the “Conflict Resolution Process for...more

The Construction Advantage – Issue 7

Reed Construction Data – Economy Improving Slowly but Surely - Reed Construction Data reports that the economy continues to improve but challenges remain. Based upon recent construction data from Reed Construction, the...more

Hotel Tax Increases and Philadelphia Cigarette Tax

At this writing, a bill authorizing certain counties to impose or increase their hotel taxes remains pending before the Pennsylvania House for concurrence on Senate amendments. Authorization of a local option Cigarette Tax...more

Second Circuit Rules New York City’s Prohibition of Religious Services in School Facilities Constitutional

Recently, in Bronx Household of Faith v. Board of Education of the City of New York[1], the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (the “Second Circuit”), in a 2-1 decision, reversed the lower court’s decision and ruled that...more

Bullying: Slowly But Surely, the Law Recognizes an Age-Old Problem

How far is too far when it comes to protecting your child from an alleged school bully? A mother in Santa Rosa, California may very well have pushed the limits of good parenting in attempts to protect her daughter earlier...more

Federal Government Bars Immigration Checks By Schools

The U.S. Departments of Education and Justice have recently issued new guidance – in the form of a “Dear Colleague” letter to school administrators nationwide – barring public schools from conducting immigration checks on...more

Federal Judge Upholds New York City Policy Barring Unvaccinated Students from Attending School During Periods of Disease Outbreak

On June 04, 2014, Judge William F. Kuntz II of the Eastern District of New York upheld a controversial New York City policy that prohibits unvaccinated children from attending school when a classmate becomes infected with a...more

Who's On Your Campus? Have You Checked The Sex-Offender List Lately?

An administrator’s nightmare is receiving a phone call that an individual on the sex offender’s list has harmed a child within the school. To avoid this horrible situation, schools now regularly check the criminal...more

School Segregation of Special Needs Students

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (“IDEA”) requires public schools to develop an Individualized Education Program for every student with a disability who is found to meet the federal and state requirements for...more

If You Didn't Write It Down, It Didn't Happen

As education and employment lawyers, we experience schools’ collective challenges at a far greater rate than any individual institution. This year, the issue that schools have struggled with most is the failure to document...more

Doe v. Wolcott: Child Abuse Mandated Reporters and School District Liability

Connecticut General Statute Section 17a-101a sets forth 1) the obligation of certain school employees to report to the Department of Children and Families whenever they have reasonable suspicion of child abuse or neglect. and...more

Questions and Answers on Title IX and Sexual Violence: Five Key Questions That Have Actually Been Answered – and Five New...

On April 29, 2014, the Office for Civil Rights of the United States Department of Education (“OCR”) issued a “significant guidance document” that sought to address many of the questions that arose in the wake of the April 4,...more

Supreme Court Deals Affirmative Action Another Blow, But Impact on Colleges and Universities Likely Limited

The U.S. Supreme Court continued its decade-long interest in the role of affirmative action in the higher education admissions process, and decided to uphold a state law banning the practice. In Schuette v. Coalition to...more

House Subcommittees Hold Joint Hearing on Data Mining and Student Privacy

Today, the House Education Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education and the Homeland Security’s Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies held a joint...more

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