Monthly Archives: January 2014

Employee Theft of Employer Documents—Protected Conduct in Opposition to Discrimination or Criminal Activity?

What happens to board of education employees who steal board documents to support a lawsuit against their employer?  In New Jersey, at least, they are criminally prosecuted.  In State V. Saavedra, Docket No. A-1449-12T4 (Dec. 24, 2013)(link), the New Jersey Appellate Division upheld the indictment of a North Bergen Board of Education [“Board”] employee who…

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Welcome to Education Law Notes

Welcome to Education Law Notes, Pullman & Comley’s blog on legal issues that pertain to public school districts, private schools, colleges and universities.  Few aspects of society more universally affect us than education, which is perhaps why few areas are more heavily regulated.  Educational institutions face legal issues in academics, labor and employment, free speech,…

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State’s Motion to Dismiss CCJEF Case Denied

As the Connecticut Mirror recently reported, on December 4, 2013, Hartford Superior Court Judge Kevin G. Dubay denied a motion filed by the State to dismiss Connecticut Coalition for Justice in Education Funding, Inc. v. Rell, CV-05-405026-S.  As a result of Judge Dubay’s ruling, the litigation will continue and it at least tentatively appears that…

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What is the Difference Between FERPA and PPRA? Protecting Student Privacy and Confidential Education Records

Two important federal laws protect the privacy rights of all students: the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, 20 U.S.C. 1232g, “FERPA” and Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment, 20 U.S.C. §1232h, “PPRA.”  Both of these laws create obligations that should be incorporated into a school district’s operational policies. FERPA makes student educational records…

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New Board Members’ Homework

It is that time of year when newly elected board of education members are settling in to their positions and starting to assume responsibility for overseeing their respective municipality’s public school district.  To help ease the process, recently elected school board members should take the time to become familiar with the following: • Board bylaws…

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Demystifying The Costs of Special Education

Despite comprising a significant percentage of every school district’s budget, special education costs often are not well understood.  Even to those aware of special education mandates, their implementation can appear, in Winston Churchill’s words, to be a mystery wrapped in an enigma.  Additionally, federal laws protecting student confidentiality preclude a discussion of specific situations, so…

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Are School Tuition Payments Fair Game For Bankruptcy Trustees in Parents’ Personal Bankruptcy?

Parents who are forced to file for personal bankruptcy may be surprised to find that school tuition payments they made for their children years earlier could become the target of recovery by an aggressive bankruptcy trustee.  The theory of recovery in such cases is found in fraudulent transfer law, where all kinds of payments can…

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