Author: Mark Sommaruga

Pullman & Comley’s Second Annual Statewide Education Law Conference – February 26, 2016

Pullman & Comley’s School Law Practice would like to invite you to our second annual statewide seminar, “Learning Together: Recent Developments in the Law and Practical Solutions for Connecticut’s Public Schools” on February 26, 2016. This half-day program will cover trends in collective bargaining, school district budgets, the Teacher Tenure Act, legal considerations affecting transgender students, and many…

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Attorneys Are Not So Special After All: The FOIA and the Need for Specific Agenda Items

Generally, Connecticut’s Freedom of Information Act [“FOIA”] requires that a public agency preparing an agenda/posting for a meeting ensure that each agenda item is specific enough to apprise the public of the action contemplated by the agency, so that the public and interested parties may be properly prepared and be present to express their views.…

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Supreme Court Rules in Favor of School District in Building Project Referendum Challenge: Substance Trumps Form

School districts often find themselves in the precarious position of having to rely upon the outcome of a referendum for passage of a budget or building project while simultaneously having no control over the conduct of the referendum. In a saga that hopefully is coming to an end, a Connecticut regional school district may finally…

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Pullman & Comley Attorneys Speak at CABE/CAPSS Annual Convention

Mark J. Sommaruga, Susan L. Scott, and Michael P. McKeon of Pullman & Comley’s School Law Section spoke on a number of education law topics at the annual joint convention of the Connecticut Association of Boards of Education and the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents [CABE/CAPSS]. The convention was held on November 20 and…

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FOIA is FUN: Somewhat Recent Reminders from the Freedom Of Information Commission

Although it is known as the “Sunshine Law,” the idea of summer fun is usually not synonymous with the Freedom of Information Act [“FOIA”]. Nevertheless, as we lament the passing of time (and loss of daylight), Connecticut’s Freedom of Information Commission [“FOIC”] issued intriguing decisions during the summer that provide teachable moments, such as the…

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Upcoming Presentations on LGBT Issues

Our friends at the Connecticut Association of Boards of Education [“CABE”], the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents [“CAPSS”] and the Connecticut Association of Schools  [“CAS’]  are sponsoring a program on issues facing LGBT students in our schools, and how schools may best address these issues and provide a supportive environment while complying with various…

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The FOIA, Charter Schools and “Charter Management Organizations:” The FOIC and the Legislature (Sort Of) Speak

As noted previously, the intersection between Connecticut’s Freedom of Information Act [“FOIA”] and charter schools has been the source of much noise. Notwithstanding some shrill voices, charter schools have always been subject to the FOIA.  The lingering issue has been whether “charter school management organizations” (e.g., entities some charter schools contract with for educational design, implementation,…

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The Aftermath: Developments From The 2015 Session of The Connecticut General Assembly Affecting Schools

The 2015 session of the Connecticut General Assembly has just concluded.  A comprehensive summary and discussion of laws that were passed during the 2015 session will be forthcoming from this firm after the Governor has acted upon all of the relevant bills, and after the conclusion of the upcoming “special session.”  In the meantime, we…

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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 decisions, the Freedom of Information Commission [“FOIC”] has provided further guidance on these issues. Briefly, the FOIA exempts from its…

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