School Districts

News & Analysis as of

Federal Government Files ‘Statement of Interest’ In Gender-Identity Case

In recent years, there have been increasing concerns involving discrimination faced by the transgender community. Not surprisingly, these concerns have centered on the challenges faced by gender non-conforming students and...more

OSEP Urges LEAs to Respect Parents’ Choice of Dispute Resolution Process

On April 15, 2015, the Office for Special Education Programs (OSEP) within the U.S. Department of Education issued a Dear Colleague Letter regarding the interaction between the due process hearing system and the state...more

Parents Can Litigate IDEA Claims When Adult Students Have Delegated Education Rights

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, which has jurisdiction over Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin, recently held that even where a disabled student has reached the age of majority under state law, his parents may litigate...more

PAC Upholds School District’s Decision to Deny FOIA Request for Text Messages

Last month, the Public Access Counselor released a decision on the subject of when text messages can be obtained from a public body through a FOIA request. The decision was non-binding, but nonetheless illustrates that absent...more

California Court of Appeals Holds Public Entity May Only Withhold Contractor Funds Where There are Liens or a Good Faith Dispute...

In East West Bank v. Rio School District [2015 Cal. App. LEXIS 274], the California Court of Appeals held that a dispute over contract price does not entitle a public entity to withhold funds due a contractor under California...more

NSBA to OCR: Standard for Addressing Requests for Technology by Students With a Communication Impairment is Off Key

Readers of our FR Alerts may remember my colleague Kendra B. Yoch authored an Alert in 2013 about a set of outlier cases in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, K.M. v. Tustin Unified School District and D.H. v. Poway Unified...more

Federal Judge Finds Michigan School District Liable for Failure to Train Staff on Title IX

Earlier this week, U.S. District Judge Paul Maloney held that the Forest Hills School District, located near Grand Rapids, Michigan, can and will be held liable for its failure to provide Title IX training to staff on proper...more

HIPAA Breach Affects Many Western New York School Districts

Recently, a national BlueCross BlueShield affiliate, Anthem, Inc., discovered that its information technology systems was hacked. The information believed to have been accessed includes names, member ID numbers, dates of...more

New York’s Property Tax Cap Wins Again

In 2013 we reported on NYSUT‘s lawsuit which claimed that New York’s recently-enacted property tax “cap” was unconstitutional. The thrust of NYSUT’s 2013 arguments against the cap were that it (1) harmed school districts that...more

Two California School Districts Do the Right Thing and Avoid Brown Act Violations by Rescheduling Meetings

Two Santa Ynez Valley school districts recently postponed their monthly board meetings after it was discovered that both districts failed to post their meeting agendas online 72 hours in advance, as required by the Brown Act....more

Franczek Radelet Files Amicus Brief in “Bleacher Case”

The Illinois Association of School Boards (IASB), the Illinois Association of School Business Officials (IASBO), and the Illinois Association of School Administrators (IASA) recently retained Franczek Radelet to prepare an...more

Phase-Out of School District and Local Government Property Tax Replacement Payments Proposed

In February 2015, the Ohio General Assembly introduced House Bill 64 (“H.B. 64”), which is the biennial operating budget bill for the biennium beginning July 1, 2015. H.B. 64 contains language that would restart the...more

ERISA: Sometimes A Government Employee’s Benefits Could Be Governed By ERISA?

You already know that employee benefit plans established by governmental entities are exempt from ERISA. But ERISA might apply if the employee benefit for the government employee is established through an association....more

Common Core Redux: Is There a Solution To The “Opt Out” Debate?

Almost exactly a year ago, my colleagues Michael P. McKeon and Zachary D. Schurin penned a piece on this blog that explored the deceptively simple question of whether parents could “legally” opt their children out of the...more

School District Gets Expensive Lesson on Prompt Payment Law. But Did the Court Get it Right?

My kids don’t like riding in my car. I urge them to look outside the window (I don’t have DVD), suggest that they roll down their windows to get some fresh air (rather than have me turn on the A/C) and persist on...more

Ex-Dallas ISD Employees Say HR Department Operated Through Fear, Retaliation

Shortly after Chrystal Thierry refused to approve some extremely high pay raises for several top administrators within the Dallas Independent School District, she says she became the victim of retaliation. As the compensation...more

Declaratory Ruling Permits School Districts to Use Electronic Signs to Post Time, Date and Location of Referendum

The Connecticut State Elections Enforcement Commission [“SEEC”] has issued its first ruling interpreting the 2013 amendment to Connecticut General Statutes Section 9-369b, the state law that prohibits the use of public funds...more

It Takes More Than a Village: Protecting Student Privacy in the Age of Big Data

High-profile data breaches and cyber-attacks on well-known brands and businesses have dominated the news cycle for more than a year. Yet during the same time, less visible, but no less important efforts have been made to...more

Illinois Supreme Court Agrees To Decide If School Districts are Subject to Local Zoning

In the closing days of its January term, the Illinois Supreme Court agreed to decide a question involving the potential collision of several different aspects of Illinois constitutional law: are school districts subject to...more

Measles Outbreak in Illinois

The current measles cluster in the Chicago area has school districts on heightened alert. Following is a short summary of preventative steps and guidance issued by the Illinois Department of Public Health. This alert is...more

Construction Alert: School District Flunks Public Contract Code Exam on Withholding Retention

On January 27, 2015, the Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, affirmed, in part, a hefty trial judgment against the Rio School District for improperly withholding retention funds in the case of FTR International, Inc....more

Illinois Supreme Court Will Review “Bleacher” Case

Last September in this Alert, we discussed an opinion in which the Second District Appellate Court ruled that Community High School District 155 was subject to the zoning regulations of the City of Crystal Lake, a home rule...more

CDC Issues Guidance on School Ebola Risk Assessment and Response

Many will recall the recent incident where a Connecticut school district barred a student, who had recently returned from Lagos, Nigeria, from school for twenty-one days due to Ebola concerns. While the propriety of the...more

School Teacher With Breast Cancer Could Proceed With Disability Discrimination Lawsuit

Lauralyn Swanson was a teacher for the Yucca Valley Elementary School who was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent a mastectomy. After the district’s board of education voted not to renew Swanson’s contract, Swanson...more

2015 Property Tax Levies Will Be Limited to 0.8% Growth

Last week the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for All Urban Consumers that will be used in the PTELL limiting rate calculations for 2015 property tax levies collected in 2016. The 2015...more

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