School Districts Public Schools

News & Analysis as of

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NYSED Releases Memo on Selection and Appointment of Impartial Hearing Officers

The New York State Education Department (NYSED) released a filed advisory memo on the selection and appointment of impartial hearing officers to conduct a special education due process hearing....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

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

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

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