Missouri Schools Face Changing Employment Laws This Year

By | K-12 Legal Insights | July 6, 2017
Legislation passed by the Missouri General Assembly this term will have a significant impact on Missouri schools. First, the General Assembly quickly passed a right-to-work bill that Governor Greitens signed into law less than a month after his inauguration. Second, on June 30, 2017, Governor Greitens signed a bill into law changing the requirements for state employment discrimination claims and providing a statutory basis for whistleblower suits. View Full Post
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Update: Supreme Court Issues Decision in Favor of Trinity Lutheran Church

By | K-12 Legal Insights | June 26, 2017
playground117320779This morning, the Supreme Court of the United States issued an opinion in favor of Trinity Lutheran Church in Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Inc. v. Comer. The Court considered whether excluding churches from an otherwise neutral and secular aid program administered by a state agency violates the Free Exercise and Equal Protection Clauses of the U.S. View Full Post
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Court Holds Title IX Liability Requires Someone Other Than Wrongdoer to Know of Misconduct

By | K-12 Legal Insights | June 20, 2017
In Salazar v. South Antonio Independent School District, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit held that an educational institution can be liable under Title IX for sexual misconduct committed by its employees only when an employee with power to correct the misconduct—other than the wrongdoer himself—is aware of the misconduct and is deliberately indifferent to it. View Full Post
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Change is Upon Us: Trump Administration’s OCR Issues Memorandum Regarding Changes to Investigation Practices

Complaints Key Shows Complaining Or Moaning OnlineOn June 8, 2017, Acting Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Candice Jackson, sent a memorandum to the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights regional directors, outlining immediate changes to the investigative practices to be used when investigating alleged violations of civil rights by public school districts in the United States.  View Full Post
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7th Circuit Orders School District to Allow Transgender Student Access to Restroom That Corresponds with Student’s Gender Identity, Not Biological Sex.

Ladies room and mens roomThe extension of civil rights protections to transgender and gender non-conforming individuals is rapidly evolving.  These issues are playing out in schools across the country, and a recent Seventh Circuit decision seems to suggest that transgender students will be afforded Title IX and Fourteenth Amendment protections. View Full Post
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Supreme Court Finds Stripes and Zigzags Eligible for Copyright Protection

By | K-12 Legal Insights | March 30, 2017
Schools may have fewer choices in purchasing cheerleading uniforms in the future.  Varsity Brands, Inc. (“Varsity”) and Star Athletica, LLC (“Star”) have been battling over the design of cheerleading uniforms and whether the designs of the uniforms are protectable under the Copyright Act.   View Full Post
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Supreme Court Adopts New Standard for IEPs

By | K-12 Legal Insights | March 23, 2017
In today’s unanimous decision in Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District RE-1, the Supreme Court articulated the standard by which federal courts should evaluate challenges to individualized education programs (“IEPs”) for students with disabilities.  To pass muster under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (“IDEA”), an IEP, according to the Court, must be “reasonably calculated to enable a child to make progress appropriate in light of the child’s circumstances.”  Op. View Full Post
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Playing the Waiting Game: Trump Administration Has Yet to Nominate an Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights

It has been over one month since Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos was confirmed by the Senate. Secretary DeVos and the Trump Administration have already had a lot of impact on schools during the past month in office, including withdrawing Obama-Era Transgender Guidance and providing guidance on consolidated state plans related to the Every Student Succeeds Act. View Full Post
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ESSA Accountability Regulations: Where Do We Stand?

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos recently provided some clarifications on the implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and released an updated template for the consolidated state plans. The hope, Secretary DeVos said, is that the updated template “ensures greater flexibility for state and local education leaders to do what they know is best for children, while also maintaining important protections for economically disadvantaged students, students with disabilities, and English learners.” Also, recently the Senate voted 50-49 to block the accountability rules for ESSA prepared by the Obama Administration. View Full Post
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