Developments From The 2018 Session of The Connecticut General Assembly: New Laws Affecting The Schools (and Public Employers)

On August 1, 2018, our firm posted on its website a summary of relevant legislation enacted by the Connecticut General Assembly during its 2018 regular session that will impact Connecticut schools.  Among other things, the General Assembly passed bills that: (1) revise the Student Data Privacy Act; (2) address budgetary issues stemming from attempts at…

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The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Janus v. AFSCME on “agency” or “service” fees for non-union members: What public sector employers must (immediately) know

As was discussed in our prior blog post and alert, the U.S. Supreme Court in Janus v. AFSCME,  585 U.S. ____ (June 27, 2018) just issued a ground breaking decision with respect to the collection of agency fees from non-union members, holding that the involuntary withholding of such monies violates the First Amendment “free speech”…

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BREAKING….SUPREME COURT ISSUES DECISION IN JANUS V. AFSCME CO. 31 – AGENCY SHOP DEEMED UNCONSTITUTIONAL AND AGENCY FEES MAY NOT BE CONTINUALLY DEDUCTED WITHOUT AFFIRMATIVE EMPLOYEE CONSENT

The wait is over. For better or worse, this morning the United States Supreme Court issued what may well prove to be the most important public-sector labor law decision of the last 50 years.  By a 5-4 majority the Supreme Court’s conservatives in an opinion authored by Justice Alito have held in Janus v. AFSCME…

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The Focus of Pullman & Comley’s Recent Superintendents’ Forum Was School Security and Whether School Districts Should Hire Armed, School Security Personnel

In a recent article, the Washington Post estimated that since the shooting in Columbine, there has been an average of ten shootings a year in American schools.  That brings the total to 190 — and counting.  What are the solutions?  Nationwide, students have embraced gun control activism.  A retired U.S. Supreme Court justice has advocated…

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CALIFORNIA COURT RULES DISTRICT CANNOT PROHIBIT STUDENTS FROM KNEELING DURING THE NATIONAL ANTHEM AT SCHOOL SPORTING EVENTS

In what appears to be the first decision on this issue in the country, a federal court in California granted a high school athlete’s request for an injunction overturning his high school’s prohibition against athletes kneeling during the national anthem. This issue, originally only appearing in the realm of professional athletics, has now trickled down…

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Pullman & Comley’s “Education Law Notes” Named One of The Top 30 Education Law Blogs

BRIDGEPORT, Conn.,: “Education Law Notes,” the Connecticut School Law blog published by Pullman & Comley, has been named one of the “Top 30 Education Law Blogs” in a comprehensive list published by Feedspot, the law firm announced today. Feedspot, a content reader that allows readers to view all of their favorite blogs and websites in…

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LATEST DEVELOPMENTS FROM THE CONNECTICUT GENERAL ASSEMBLY ON EDUCATION RELATED LEGISLATION (AND A MARCH 8TH PUBLIC HEARING)

On Thursday, March 8, 2018, the General Assembly’s Education Committee will conduct a public hearing on the following proposed bills: S.B. No. 364 AN ACT CONCERNING SPECIAL EDUCATION FUNDING. This bill would lower the special education “excess cost” grant threshold from four and one-half times to two times the average per pupil educational costs of…

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SILENCE MATTERS: SCHOOL SAFETY, SECURITY PLANS AND THE CT FOIA

In the aftermath of another senseless and tragic school shooting, school districts are understandably looking inwards as they contemplate the need to adjust their security measures. I am frequently asked how school districts can consider their options while still complying with the Connecticut Freedom of Information Act [“FOIA”].  Fortunately, the FOIA contains protections for schools…

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Does Providing A Parent With The Surveillance Video Of A School Incident And/Or Student Statements About The Incident That Involved Multiple Students Violate FERPA?

The United States Department of Education’s Office of the Chief Privacy Officer recently issued a guidance letter to a school district indicating that while surveillance video of a hazing incident that involved numerous perpetrators, victims and bystanders was considered an educational record of all students on the video, the school district must provide the parents…

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