School Districts

News & Analysis as of

OSEP Issues Guidance Requiring IEPs to Be Aligned With Grade-Level Content Standards

Ever since New York State adopted the common core standards, there has been questions about how these standards would apply to students with disabilities. The response to these questions has been fairly consistent—disabled...more


Orienting your Professional Governance Board to Success - Practice makes perfect. Or so we were told throughout our childhood by parents, teachers and coaches. The lesson imparted was a simple, but valuable one. That...more

Illinois Appellate Court Upholds Protections of Tort Immunity Act for School Districts

The Illinois Appellate Court (Second District) recently held that several parents’ action challenging an Illinois school district’s reorganization of two elementary schools was barred by the Illinois Local Governmental and...more

OCR Takes a Stand on Transgender Students in Locker Rooms

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) found an Illinois school district in violation of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 this week for denying a transgender student access to girls’...more

OCR Finds Title IX Violation for School District’s Prohibition of Transgender Student’s Use of Locker Room

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) recently concluded that a public school district in Illinois violated Title IX both by prohibiting a transgender high school student from using the locker...more

Lake County, Florida Impact Fees to Increase

Beginning January 11, 2016, Lake County educational impact fees will increase to $9,324.00 for single family units, $8,045.00 for multi-family units and $5,856.00 for mobile homes located within mobile homes parks....more

Appellate Court Overturns School District’s Attempt to Vacate Ill-Advised Tax Rate Objection Settlement Reached by State’s...

Last week, an Illinois Appellate Court denied several school districts’ attempt to vacate a settlement agreement between the taxpayers’ attorney and the Will County State’s Attorney’s Office in a tax rate objection case. The...more

Stadium Follies – When Can You Sue the State of Texas?

What a year it has been for the Podunk (Texas) High School football team. After the school opened its new $50 million, 18,000-seat stadium at the beginning of the year, the team has reeled off an undefeated regular season and...more

Board Members’ Homework Assignment: Making Sure Your District’s Website Is Legally Compliant

With the start of a new school year, students are not the only ones who have homework. To the contrary, school board members and their respective districts’ central office administrators have their own assignment -- ensuring...more

Construction Law Advisory - October 2015

The Massachusetts Attorney General is taking action to ensure that general contractors working on public construction are complying with state requirements to use DBE/MBE subcontractors. In August 2015, the Attorney...more

School Districts to Undergo Cybersecurity Audit

Missouri Auditor Nicole Galloway recently announced plans to conduct cybersecurity audits of five school districts. Coinciding with National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, the audits are intended to reveal how school...more

Massachusetts Legislature Takes Action on Opioid Crisis

Amid a recent surge in opioid-related deaths in Massachusetts, with over 1,200 accidental deadly overdoses last year, the Senate passed legislation on Thursday, October 1, that is designed to fight the epidemic on various...more

Pennsylvania Court Refuses to Enforce “No Damages for Delay” Clause

A Pennsylvania appellate court recently refused to enforce a “no damages for delay” clause and upheld an award of delay damages against a school district where the district actively interfered with a general contractor’s...more

Real Estate and Land Use - September 2015 #2

Use It or Lose It: San Clemente Required to Refund $10 Million in Unused Impact Fees: Walker v. City of San Clemente (August 28, 2015, G050552) - Why It Matters: In a strict reading of a local agency’s...more

Alert: Student Data Privacy: States Keep Up the Momentum

While Congress continues to consider (but not act on) nationwide student data privacy initiatives, the states continued to lead the charge in 2015. Earlier this year, we reported that, in 2014, 36 states introduced 110...more

When Is A School District “Deliberately Indifferent” To Student Discrimination Claims?

When a student alleges discrimination within the school environment, the school district may be held liable if it was “deliberately indifferent” to the discrimination. Three recent cases involving allegations of sexual...more

Illinois Supreme Court Says School District’s Subject to Municipal Zoning

On September 24, 2015, the Illinois Supreme Court reaffirmed the adage that “a picture is worth a thousand words” in holding that Community High School District No. 155’s bleacher construction project is subject to and must...more

Seventh Circuit Finds School District Not Liable in Bullying Case

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, which is the federal appellate court with jurisdiction over Illinois, recently rejected an Indiana student’s claims against two school districts for allegedly improperly responding to...more

Can an Employee Decline FMLA Leave Simply by Checking a Box on a Form?

Do you require your employees to fill out a form or an application to request leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act? If not, are you thinking of changing to such an approach? Either way, pay attention to this story...more

Illinois Supreme Court Rules Local Land Use Codes Apply to School Districts

In a long-anticipated decision, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled on September 24, 2015, that school districts are subject to municipal zoning and land use regulations. The decision in Gurba v. Community High School District...more

SEE YOU IN COURT! - September 2015

The members of the Nutmeg Board of Education are a conscientious group, and they want to know everything about the operation of the Nutmeg Public Schools. For his part, Mr. Superintendent has tried to keep up with their...more

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

Regardless of what type of legal or physical custody a parent exercises, under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA”), all parents are provided with certain rights surrounding their ability to access their...more

Back To The Chalk Board: School District’s Math Fails To Justify CEQA Categorical Exemption For School Closures

In a published opinion filed September 2, 2015, the Fourth District Court of Appeal (Division 2) reversed the trial court’s judgment denying a writ petition challenging a school district’s determination that its closure of...more

Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court Explains and Applies Active Interference Exception to No Damage for Delay Clause

John Spearly Constr., Inc. v. Penns Valley Area Sch. Dist., 2015 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 337 (Pa. Commw. Ct. July 24, 2015) - This action arose out of the construction of a biomass boiler system for the Penns Valley Area School...more

New Legislation Leaves Illinois Schools “Locked Out” of Student Social Media Accounts

Recent amendments to Illinois law draw back on rights of post-secondary, secondary, and elementary schools to request or require access to student social networking accounts such as Facebook and Twitter. School districts and...more

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