Topic: Educational Institutions

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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Stick to the Script: The Consequences of Mishandling Sexual Misconduct Investigations in Doe v. Skidmore College

It would seem fairly self-evident that when a college or university establishes procedures for handling sexual misconduct claims, it should actually follow them.  That, however, was not the case in Matter of John Doe v. Skidmore College, a recently issued decision by the State of New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division.  Given what it termed…

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Canary in a Coal Mine: Analyzing Title IX, OCR, and On-Campus Sexual Misconduct Adjudications in Plummer v. University of Houston

It is unusual for a dissenting opinion to be more noteworthy than the majority’s holding, yet that is the case in Plummer v. University of Houston, a decision recently handed down by the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.  Except for the unsavory facts upon which the decision is based and Judge…

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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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