Topic: News

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

Attorneys Michael P. McKeon, Mark J. Sommaruga and Melinda B. Kaufmann of Pullman & Comley’s School Law Practice hosted the firm’s semi-annual Special Education Legal Issues Forum on October 28, 2016, at The Hartford Club.  This dynamic program is designed specifically for school district special education leaders and professionals and covers current legal developments affecting this…

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I Meant What I Said: Transgender Student Rights In Connecticut In The Face Of The Latest Federal Court Developments

As we have previously written, the United States Departments of Education and Justice issued joint guidance for school districts regarding transgender students via a May 13, 2016 “Dear Colleague Letter.” This guidance was based on their interpretation of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which is a federal law prohibiting gender-based discrimination in…

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The Aftermath Of The CCJEF Ruling: What Is Next For Public Education In Connecticut?

On September 7, 2016, Superior Court Judge Thomas G. Moukawsher issued a lengthy decision in Connecticut Coalition for Justice in Education Funding v. Rell.  As its name would suggest, this case involved a challenge to inequities in educational funding in the State of Connecticut. But the court’s ruling has led to far broader consequences (and…

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Half-Baked: Phillips Exeter, Sexual Assault, And A Recipe For Disaster

Considered one of the country’s most elite prep schools, Phillips Exeter Academy has recently joined the queue of prestigious private schools who have been accused of having ignored, suppressed, or minimized claims of sexual assault. A recent investigation by The Boston Globe’s Spotlight Team focused particular attention on a case in which a female student…

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Foliage, Frost, Frozen Ponds and The FOIA: More Interesting Cases From The FOIC (Part One)

Dropping thermometers did not diminish the heated action occurring before Connecticut’s Freedom of Information Commission [“FOIC”]. It should also go without saying that the accompanying snow, ice and other perils of winter did not eliminate the need of public agencies to comply with Connecticut’s Freedom of Information Act [“FOIA”].  Here are some decisions of note…

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ESSA, Sexual Misconduct, and “Passing the Trash”

There is a new provision in the Every Student Succeeds Act (“ESSA”) entitled “Prohibition on Aiding and Abetting Sexual Abuse.” It attempts to prevent school employees who have engaged in sexual misconduct with students from being unwittingly passed from one school district to another, a practice commonly referred to as “passing the trash.” Specifically, the…

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Taking The “Due” Out of Due Process – OSERS and Compliance Complaints

During a brief altercation in Dashiell Hammett’s classic novel, The Maltese Falcon, the protagonist, Sam Spade, warns one of his antagonists that “when you’re slapped, you’ll take it and like it.”  That is much the same approach taken by the United States Department of Education’s Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services [“OSERS”] when it…

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Property Tax Exemption for Residential Properties Revoked for Many Connecticut Colleges and Universities

During the recently concluded special session, the Connecticut General Assembly approved, and the Governor subsequently signed into law, Section 244 of Public Act No. 15-5 (June Special Session) that revokes the property tax exemption long enjoyed by private colleges and universities on certain of their residential properties.  Effective October 1, 2015, any residential real property…

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Does One Wrong Equal No Rights? Connecticut Lets Its Surrogate Parents’ Contracts Lapse

Due to the State Department of Education’s failure to provide new contracts in a timely manner, Connecticut’s approximately 74 surrogate parents have found themselves in limbo.  Surrogate parents are appointed by the State Department of Education [“SDE”] to advocate on behalf of disabled students who have no parents, whose parents are incapable of meaningfully participating…

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