School Districts

News & Analysis as of

Trump Administration Withdraws Transgender Guidance

On February 22, 2017, one day before briefs were submitted to the Supreme Court in a case involving a transgender student in Pennsylvania, the Trump Administration, through the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department...more

SCOTUS Service Dog Decision Could Spell Bad News For Schools

In a unanimous decision, the U.S. Supreme Court today ruled that a disabled child’s parents were not legally required to jump through certain additional hoops and exhaust administrative remedies in a service animal dispute...more

The Scope of the IDEA Statute: How Far Must Local School Districts Go In Providing A “Free And Appropriate” Public Education?

Say what you will about the Roberts Court, but you cannot say it does not confront diffi cult issues that impact the everyday lives of most Americans. One of those issues presently before the Court is public education,...more

How Are You Handling Parents Who Might Not Speak English?

A recent Philadelphia court decision is a welcome reminder for Barley Snyder client school districts to know what is required of them when it comes to dealing with families where the parents or guardians of a student do not...more

FCC Waives Certain Classification Standards from 2017 E-rate Eligible Services List

On February 8, 2017, the Wireline Competition Bureau (“Bureau”) granted a waiver of certain Category One/Category Two classification standards established in the 2017 Eligible Services List (“ESL”) on its own motion, meaning...more

Worth Another Look

Budget Theme: Schools that Teach - As he has in previous years, Governor Wolf highlighted the need for “schools that teach” in his 2017-2018 budget address. Today during his budget address, Governor Wolf stated his...more

Liquidated Damages: A Tool for Teacher Retention?

A common struggle for school districts across Wisconsin is how to attract and retain quality teachers and administrative staff. In a post-Act 10 world where districts are free to recruit the best and the brightest from their...more

A Cadillac, A Serviceable Chevrolet Or Something In Between: The Supreme Court Is Poised To Redefine The Standard Of Education...

On January 11, 2017, the United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District, a case likely to change the landscape of special education by redefining the level of education that is...more

Tenured Teacher Dismissal Upheld for Assisting Students on ISAT

In one of the first teacher dismissal decisions of 2017, school districts across the state of Illinois scored a victory as an independent hearing officer upheld the dismissal of a tenured teacher for improperly assisting...more

County Boards of Education Cannot be Exempted from Local Zoning Requirements

On January 24, 2017, the Court of Appeal for the Sixth Appellate District interpreted Government Code section 53094 and held that, unlike school districts, county boards of education cannot be exempted from local zoning...more

Oral Argument Presented in Supreme Court Case Addressing the Level of Educational Benefit that must be Provided under IDEA

On January 11, 2017, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in the case of Endrew F. ex rel. Joseph F. v. Douglas County School District RE 1, Docket No. 15-187, to address the level of benefit a schools must confer on...more

Florida School Board Settles Pregnancy Discrimination Case with U.S. Department of Justice

The Palm Beach County School Board (“School Board”) recently settled a lawsuit brought by the United States Justice Department alleging that a local school’s principal unlawfully demoted an assistant principal after she...more

Michigan Legislature Repeals Preferential Hiring Requirement for Special Education Personnel

On January 3, 2017, Governor Snyder signed into law Public Act 429, which is to take immediate effect. This Act repeals a somewhat obscure provision of the Michigan Revised School Code. Section 1766, MCL 380.1766, required a...more

New Laws Expand Use of Opioid Antagonists to Schools for 2017-2018 School Year

In 2015, the Michigan Prescription Drug and Opioid Abuse Task Force was formed to develop a statewide action plan to address a growing public health problem in Michigan - overdose deaths. As opioid painkillers, such as...more

Tennessee Consortium Wins E-Rate Appeals Involving Complex Interpretations of the “Most Cost-Effective” and “Legally Binding...

In an Order released December 30, 2016, the FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau granted appeals of a 2015 USAC decision that denied E-rate funding to the Sweetwater consortium of Tennessee school districts for funding years...more

They’re Back! What Can Schools Expect from the 2017 General Assembly Session?

On January 4, the 2017 session of the Connecticut General Assembly began. The session is scheduled to adjourn on June 7, 2017. One can assume that a plethora of proposed bills affecting Connecticut school districts will be...more

OSEP Speaks Again: Ensure Your Evaluations Address All Areas of Potential Concern

On October 22, 2016, the US Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs (“OSEP”), via its latest informal guidance/opinion letter (“Letter to Carroll”), once again addressed whether, once a school...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

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

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

Municipalities Must Pay Refunds from Dissolved TIF Districts

The Illinois Appellate Court recently upheld a trial court’s ruling that property tax refunds from a dissolved TIF District must be paid by the municipality, not by the other affected taxing agencies. The case, Village of...more

A Reminder To Be Careful With Ex-Employees And Confidential Information

A lot of companies rely on retired and otherwise former employees for information in litigation – including product liability litigation. Particularly where a product (such as a drug that’s now gone generic) has a long...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

Does Releasing an Internal Investigation Report Always Trigger a Subject Matter Privilege Waiver?

One might think that a corporation or government entity would always trigger a subject matter privilege waiver by disclosing an internal investigation report. But subject matter waiver risks have been receding. In Hawa...more

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