AN EARLY HALLOWEEN TRICK FOR CONNECTICUT’S PUBLIC-SECTOR LABOR UNIONS: WILL JANUS V. AFSCME, CO. 31 BE THE END OF THE AGENCY SHOP?

Did Halloween come early this year? Well it just may have for Connecticut’s public-sector unions. On September 28th, the United States Supreme Court granted certiorari in Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, Council 31, thus once again agreeing to hear a case that poses the question of whether union agency fee…

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HOW DOES LAST BEST OFFER INTEREST ARBITRATION WORK WHEN THE STATE HAS NOT ADOPTED ITS BUDGET?

According to the State Department of Education, approximately 100 Connecticut school districts are scheduled to engage in negotiations with teacher and/or administrator bargaining units by the end of December, 2017. As those of you who are familiar with the Teacher Negotiation Act understand, these contracts are supposed to be resolved by agreement, or through last…

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UNNECESSARY ROUGHNESS: COACHES, CONCUSSIONS AND THE CONSTITUTION IN MANN V. PALMERTON AREA SCHOOL DISTRICT

A recent decision by the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit may have coaches checking with their lawyer before deciding whether to allow an injured player to go back into a game or practice. In an alarming decision for public secondary schools, colleges, and universities, the Third Circuit held in Mann v.…

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Doe v. Brown University: Non-Students and the Limits of Title IX Liability

In a case that raises a number of interesting questions, a federal judge in Rhode Island recently held that a student at one school could not bring a Title IX action against another school following her sexual assault by some of the latter school’s students. In Jane Doe v. Brown University, the court granted Brown…

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BAD IDEA: ATTORNEY’S FEES AND THE HIGH COST OF IGNORING STAY PUT IN M.R. & J.R. V. RIDLEY SCHOOL DISTRICT

A recent decision by the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit calls to mind an automobile repair chain’s erstwhile slogan: “Pay me now, or pay me later,” although in this case, the more applicable variation would be:  “Pay now, or really, really pay later.”  In M.R. & J.R. v. Ridley School District,…

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STATE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION PROVIDES PROPOSED FINAL DRAFT OF GUIDELINES FOR EXPULSIONS AND ALTERNATIVE EDUCATION (Part 2)

“And thirdly, the code is more what you’d call “guidelines” than actual rules …” Captain Barbosa in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl On September 5, 2017, the State Board of Education’s Legislative and Policy Development Committee presented a “final draft” of “Guidelines for Alternative Learning Environments.” The Guidelines, however, as…

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And who is going to pay for it? The State’s new draft guidelines for educating expelled students

In 2016, Connecticut’s General Assembly passed Public Act 16-147: AN ACT CONCERNING THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE JUVENILE JUSTICE POLICY AND OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE.  This Act made several changes to school discipline laws which were to take effect on August 15, 2017.  Most dramatically, the Act significantly increased the amount of instruction to be delivered to expelled…

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CLEAR AND CONVINCING: DOE V. JACKSON, DEVOS, AND THE FUTURE OF CAMPUS SEXUAL MISCONDUCT INVESTIGATIONS

  On September 7, 2017, Betsy DeVos, the Secretary of Education, announced that the United States Department of Education intended to revisit the “Dear Colleague” letter that the Department’s Office for Civil Rights, or “OCR,” issued on April 4, 2011. Although over the years OCR has issued a number of these often draconian Dear Colleague…

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HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL COACH DOES NOT HAVE THE RIGHT TO PRAY ON THE 50 YARD LINE AFTER THE GAME – LESSONS FROM THE NINTH CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS

Does a school district violate the First Amendment when it prohibits a football coach from kneeling on the fifty yard line and praying with students and members of the public at the end of each high school football game? The Ninth Circuit recently answered this question with a resounding “no” in Kennedy v. Bremerton School…

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Doggone: False Statements and Free Speech in Clemmons v. Guilford Technical Community College

Sometimes, the motivation for chronicling a court decision is not because it is particularly groundbreaking; rather, it can simply be a confluence of peculiar facts and a reiteration of relevant legal principles.  That is certainly true with Clemmons v. Guilford Technical Community College, a case arising out of the United States District Court for the…

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