Topic: Educational Institutions

Who is Considered A Parent For Purposes of Accessing School Records?

Under state and federal law, a parent generally has the right to access his/her child’s educational records. The question is, who is considered a “parent” in under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA”).  As the definition of “family” changes and broadens, it is important for schools to know who has the right to…

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The Aftermath: Developments From The 2017 Regular Session of The Connecticut General Assembly Affecting Schools

The 2017 Regular Session of the Connecticut General Assembly concluded at midnight, June 7, 2017, without accomplishing its most important task (passing a budget). As such, the General Assembly will eventually have to convene a “special session.”  In the meantime, our legislature did pass several bills that will affect Connecticut schools.  Among other things, the…

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Check Please: OCR’s Future in the Wake of Proposed Budget Cuts

Published reports indicate that President Trump’s proposed budget includes what is approximately a fifty percent reduction in the prior fiscal year’s funding for the United States Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights [“OCR”]. OCR is charged with responsibility for investigating student discrimination claims in public school districts as well as in private schools, colleges,…

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Public Act 16-67 – Are Your Background-Check Practices Compliant?

It’s been almost exactly a year since Public Act 16-67 – officially entitled “An Act Concerning the Disclosure of Certain Education Personnel Records, Criminal Penalties for Threatening in Educational Settings and the Exclusion of a Minor’s Name from Summary Process Complaints” was signed into law by Governor Malloy. The Act, more commonly known as the…

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CHRO – A New Horizon For Students With Disabilities?

As my colleague Rachel Ginsburg aptly foretold, Connecticut’s Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities [“CHRO”] has indicated an interest in involving itself with discrimination claims concerning the schools. A recent case shows how CHRO can handle (or mishandle) matters that have previously been deemed to be the exclusive province of special education “due process” hearing…

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Pullman & Comley’s School Law Practice Hosts Spring Special Education Legal Issues Forum

Attorneys Michael P. McKeon, Mark J. Sommaruga and Melinda B. Kaufmann of Pullman & Comley’s School Law Practice presented at the firm’s semi-annual Special Education Legal Issues Forum on May 5, 2017, at the offices of the Connecticut Association of Schools (“CAS”).  Our firm is proud to be a partner with CAS.  The May 5th program…

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United States Supreme Court Defines Standard For Special Education: Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District RE-1

In a unanimous decision, the United States Supreme Court held that the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA) requires school districts to provide special education students with “an educational program reasonably calculated to enable a child to make progress appropriate in light of the child’s circumstances.” While the Court made clear that this is…

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Latest Developments from the Connecticut General Assembly: The Education Committee Begins to Speak

The General Assembly’s Education Committee is beginning the process of approving bills.   The following is a listing (with a brief description) of the proposed bills that Education Committee voted favorably on and advanced out of committee at its March 8, 2017 meeting: H.B. No. 7157 AN ACT CONCERNING ONLINE AND BLENDED EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES FOR STUDENTS…

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A Kindergarten Student and Her Dog Named Wonder: What Rights Do Students Have To Service Animals In The Classroom?

What are the parameters for requiring schools to accommodate students’ service animals in the classroom? The United States Supreme Court recently turned prior thinking on this issue on its head, finding that even though a student does not need the service animal in order to receive a “free appropriate public education” as required by federal…

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Governor Malloy Issues Executive Order On Transgender Students’ Use of Bathrooms in Public Schools

On Wednesday, President Trump’s administration decided to rescind, pending further review, the Obama administration’s federal guidance that requires transgender students receive access to the restrooms and locker rooms of their chosen gender identity. In response, Governor Malloy yesterday issued his own Executive Order that essentially renders the President’s action void in Connecticut and requires Connecticut’s…

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