School Districts Public Schools

News & Analysis as of

The Side of Tax Reform They’re Not Telling You

Deep-sixing property taxes is a popular pledge on the state and local campaign trail. But the promise is only half the story. Citizens need to ask: “And then what?” Like a climbing wall, eliminating property taxes may...more

CAS Legal Mailbag Question of the Week – June 2016 #2

Dear Legal Mailbag: Last month, the fifth grade classes at my school went on a field trip to a canning factory. In hindsight, it was not my finest moment as a principal. I was late in having the teachers send out the...more

Teacher’s Verbal Abuse of Student Does Not Rise to “Conscious-Shocking” Level Necessary to Support Due Process Claim

L.H. and C.H. v. Pittston Area Sch. Dist., 130 F. Supp. 3d 918 (M.D. Pa 2015) (Decided September 10, 2015). The District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania determined that verbal abuse by a teacher, by itself,...more

CAS Legal Mailbag Question of the Week – May 2016 #2

Dear Legal Mailbag: It happens every time. One of my fourth grade teachers sent permission slips home with the children a week ago, but she realized the day of the field trip to the dairy farm that one of the parents had...more

School Districts: Tax Cap Upheld Over Strong Dissent - Next Stop N.Y.’s Highest Court (5/16)

The Appellate Division, Third Department today upheld a constitutional challenge to New York’s tax cap. The suit, brought by NYSUT, asserted several different legal theories challenging the constitutionality of the statute....more

Sixth Circuit Rules that the "Deliberate Indifference" Standard Still Matters in Title IX Harassment Litigation

In Stiles v. Granger County Board of Education, the United States Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed dismissal of a Title IX lawsuit against a public school district because the alleged victim of harassment and bullying...more

CAS Legal Mailbag Question of the Week – April 2016 #2

Dear Legal Mailbag: I am blessed, I think, because a wealthy new family just enrolled two children in my school, and the father has taken a great interest in our facilities. He can come on a bit strong with his...more

Recap: Board Member Roles and Responsibilities

As the board of directors for the school district, board of education members have a unique variety of responsibilities to meet and roles to fill. Among their many duties, board members are expected to work collaboratively...more

Open Discussion of Pending Grievances Permitted At School Board Meetings

Abington Heights School District (Case No. PERA-C-11-221-E) (Pa. LRB 2015) (Decided December 15, 2015). A Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board hearing examiner determined that the District was permitted to openly discuss...more

CAS Legal Mailbag Question of the Week – March 2016 #5

Originally appeared in the CAS Weekly NewsBlast. Dear Legal Mailbag: As the principal of a large high school, I get a lot of letters. I have been around, and I know all about keeping legitimate items of...more

CAS Legal Mailbag Question of the Week – March 2016 #4

Dear Legal Mailbag: Have you noticed that parents increasingly have boundary issues as to what is their business and what is not? I have, and I need your help....more

The Governance – Achievement Link

Barely a week goes by without the reporting of our ongoing and seemingly endless national debate about public education and the quality of our nations’ schools. This debate typically invokes such topics as testing,...more

CAS Legal Mailbag Question of the Week

Dear Legal Mailbag: I admit to being a bit of a neat freak, and I am now wondering whether my idiosyncrasy has gotten me in trouble. Last month, I was walking through our gymnasium and saw a bunch of mats in the corner,...more

ESSA, Sexual Misconduct, and “Passing the Trash”

There is a new provision in the Every Student Succeeds Act (“ESSA”) entitled “Prohibition on Aiding and Abetting Sexual Abuse.” It attempts to prevent school employees who have engaged in sexual misconduct with students from...more

School Districts: APPR in New York, Just Like the Weather…If You Don’t Like it, Wait a Minute, it Will Change (2/16)

Almost six years ago, New York State passed Education Law § 3012-c, which fundamentally altered classroom teacher and principal evaluations, requiring for the first time that student performance and assessment be a main...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

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 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

Supreme Court Affirms Ruling That School District Has Duty To Transport Student To And From Father’s And Mother’s Separate...

Watts v. Manheim Central School District, 112 MAP 2014 (Pa. 2015). The Pennsylvania Supreme Court affirmed an earlier ruling of the Commonwealth Court that, when a school district provides transportation, it must transport a...more

OSEP Dear Colleague Letter Reminds Districts to Consider Speech/Language Needs for Students with Autism

The Office for Special Education Programs (“OSEP”) within the U.S. Department of Education recently issued a “Dear Colleague Letter” indicating its concern that students with autism may not be receiving necessary speech and...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

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