School Districts

News & Analysis as of

Courts Will Go Above and Beyond to Award Attorneys’ Fees for Unreasonably Withholding Public Records

In a novel and somewhat convoluted fact pattern, the California Court of Appeal yet again sent a loud and clear message: The purpose of the California Public Records Act ("CPRA") is to monitor governmental activities despite...more

Illinois Court Finds Special Property Tax Exemption Unconstitutional

A property tax exemption designed to benefit a single aviation company was recently found unconstitutional by the Illinois Appellate Court. The exemption was only for fixed base operators (FBOs) providing aeronautical...more

N.C. Court of Appeals Addresses Public Records, Closed Session and "Personnel Matters"

In The Times News Publishing Co. v. The Alamance-Burlington Bd. of Education, No. COA15-99 (July 21, 2015), the Court of Appeals considered the intersection between the State's Open Meetings Laws (N.C.G.S. 143-318.9, et seq.)...more

Deliberate Indifference to Bullying Can Amount to Massive Liability – Lessons from the Pine Bush Settlement

$4.48 million. That’s how much the Pine Bush School District in central-New York just agreed to pay to settle a lawsuit brought by a group of current and former students who alleged that school administrators were...more

PAC Upholds Board Action: No OMA Violation for Private Emails

In June, the Public Access Counselor (PAC) issued a non-binding opinion holding that board members of a school district did not violate the Open Meetings Act (OMA) when partaking in intermittent private email exchanges...more

Amendments Clarify Employers’ Background Check Obligations Under Pennsylvania Law

On July 1, 2015, Governor Tom Wolf signed into law Act 15 (House Bill 1276), which amends Pennsylvania’s Child Protective Services Law (CPSL) to clarify the requirements of employers and volunteer-based organizations to...more

Michigan Governor Signs Early Warning Legislation for Financially Distressed School Districts with Immediate Effect

On July 7, Michigan Governor Snyder signed into law a package of bills, all with immediate effect and most with a tie bar to at least one of the other bills in the package, creating an early warning system to identify the...more

School Districts: Regulatory Changes to Teacher and Principal APPR (6/15)

As previously discussed in our April 15, 2015 information memo, classroom teacher and principal Annual Professional Performance Reviews (APPR) will be governed by new statutory and regulatory requirements beginning July 1,...more

Legislature Passes Early Warning Bills for Financially Distressed School Districts

The Michigan Legislature recently passed a package of bills to create an early warning system to identify the potential for financial distress in local school districts, intermediate school districts (ISDs) and public school...more

U.S. Department of Education Weighs in Against an Oregon Bill which would Make it Easier for Students to Opt Out of Testing

The question of the ability of students to “opt out” of mandated standardized testing is one that occupied many school districts during Connecticut’s most recent round of statewide testing. The U.S. Department of Education...more

Supreme Court Ruling Avoids Major Complications for Mandatory Reporters

Last week, the United States Supreme Court overturned a controversial decision by the Ohio Supreme Court holding that statements given by a preschool student to his teacher were tantamount to statements to police, and so...more

Two Recent Decisions Provide Guidance on How School Districts Should Respond to Allegations of Sexual Assault

Two recent decisions from our neighbors in Indiana and Michigan provide guidance on what courts may expect from school districts responding to allegations of sexual assault. Pursuant to Title IX of the Education Amendments of...more

SEC Announces First Wave of MCDC Underwriter Sanctions

The Securities Exchange Commission announced June 18 the first major wave of underwriter sanctions under its Municipalities Continuing Disclosure Cooperation (“MCDC”) Initiative. The SEC sanctioned 36 municipal underwriting...more

Significant Changes to Law Concerning Physical Restraint and Seclusion in Schools Anticipated to be Effective July 1, 2015

The Legislature has passed Public Act No. 15-141: An Act Concerning Seclusion and Restraint in Schools(the “Act”), which makes significant changes to the law and regulations governing physical restraint and seclusion in...more

Tips for Lawfully Hiring Teenagers for Summer Jobs

Summer is almost here and many teenagers will be hitting the workforce to earn a few extra dollars. Companies that hire teenagers should be aware that state and federal law restricts the employment of minors or “child labor.”...more

How Does the Supreme Court’s Recent Facebook Decision Impact Schools?

In a recent decision, Elonis v. United States, the U.S. Supreme Court held that in order to convict a man for alleged threats made against his wife on Facebook, the prosecutor must show some level of intent. It was not enough...more

Appellate Court Confirms Group 2 Teachers Subject to RIF Have No Recall Rights

Last week, the Illinois Appellate Court’s Second District held that a teacher subject to dismissal based on a reduction in force (RIF) did not have recall rights because she was in RIF Grouping 2, and that the school district...more

CAS Legal Mailbag Question of the Week – May 22, 2015.

Dear Legal Mailbag: My school district is quite affluent, and parents here are quite engaged in their children’s education, which has its blessings and its challenges. One of the challenges here is the constant...more

North Dakota Focused on Privacy and Information Security; AG Wants to Know if You’ve Been Breached

Come August 1, North Dakota’s Attorney General will expect to hear from you if your company suffers a breach of computerized data affecting more than 250 persons. On April 13 North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple signed S....more

OSEP Provides Guidance on Parent’s Right to an Independent Educational Evaluation

The topic of independent educational evaluations under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (“IDEA”) has, now more than ever, become one of the most discussed and debated topics in special education....more

Pass the Trash: A Summary of the Employment History Review Requirements Under Act 168 for Schools

Act 168 of 2014, the “Pass the Trash” Act, creates increased responsibilities and procedures a school district must follow when hiring new employees. The purpose of the Act is to eliminate the practice whereby a school...more

Everything That You Ever Wanted to Know About The Attorney-Client Privilege and The FOIA But Were Afraid to Ask: The Latest

As a self-described FOIA nerd, I have written in these pages about issues pertaining to the effect of the Freedom of Information Act [“FOIA”] on the attorney-client privilege (and vice versa). In a plethora of recent...more

Florida High Court Overturns Summary Judgment for Defendant School Board, Deciding it Owed Common Law Duty to Student Athlete

On April 2, 2015, the Florida Supreme Court quashed the Second District Court of Appeal’s decision in Limones v. School District of Lee County, 111 So. 3d 901 (Fla. 2d DCA 2013), and held that the school district owed a...more

When Trespasser Becomes Plaintiff

The family of a 9-year-old California boy who survived a fall through a school’s skylight reportedly claims the school district should be held liable for his injuries because it was too easy to get on the school’s roof and...more

Understanding and Managing Compliance with the Affordable Care Act for Schools

Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“PPACA”), employers are required to offer healthcare coverage that meets the PPACA’s definitions of “affordable” and “minimum value” to all their full-time employees...more

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