School Law Issues

NSBA's School Law Issues pages provide resources, news, and court decisions on a range of legal issues for public schools. Most news items and recent cases are from NSBA's free school law e-newsletter, Legal Clips.

Looking for more information? See what’s Inside School Law Issues on the right.

Additional Resources

ED Second Notice of Information Collection Docket ID: ED-2013-ICCD-0079 Title of Collection: Mandatory Civil Rights Data Collection OMB Control Number: 1870-NEW
In reviewing the Second Notice, OCR’s Response to Comments, and OCR’s supporting documents, NSBA continues to identify several areas of concern with regards to certain proposed new data groups and data categories, as well as proposed revisions to existing data groups and data categories. NSBA continues to believe there is questionable statutory and regulatory authority that allows OCR to require the submission of data for items and categories that are not connected to civil rights enforcement, have any civil rights implications for students, or impact the provision of equal educational opportunities to students under the five specific statutes (Title VI, Title IX, Section 504, Title II/ADA, and the Age Discrimination Act) for which OCR has investigative authority and are the bases of OCR’s mission. It continues to find troublesome OCR’s definition of “expulsion”, which it states is only for purposes of the CRDC, in terms that may be contrary to state law. NSBA continues to believe that the inquiries regarding incidents of misconduct will lead to an over-reporting and, in some cases, double- (or more) counting of incidents. Based on the section of its Response to Comments regarding harassment or bullying, NSBA is concerned that OCR has further expanded its view of the reach of Title VI and Title IX with regards to such conduct being motivated by a student’s religion and/or perceived sexual orientation (which is now going to include gender identity, gender expression, and nonconformity with gender stereotypes, as just announced for the first time in the Response to Comments made available with the December 2013 publication of the Second Notice).

Comments on Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 34 CFR 300 Docket ID ED-2012-OSERS-0020 - Part B Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) regarding local maintenance of effort (MOE) requirements
NSBA concurs with the need for clarification of the standards a state educational agency (SEA) is to use to determine both a local educational agency’s (LEA) compliance with the MOE regulations and eligibility to receive Part B funds. However, we are disappointed that the Department would not also propose amendments that adequately recognize the significant fiscal challenges facing many states and local communities in the delivery of educational services to both general and special education students.

Reply Comments on Notice of Proposed Rulemaking – Modernizing the E-Rate Program for Schools and Libraries, WC Docket No. 13-184
NSBA reiterates our September 16, 2013 comments, which are summarized at the end of this correspondence. Further, NSBA has additional comments, representing input from state school boards associations regarding the E-Rate program. 1. Modernization of E-Rate must

NSBA Submits Comments to the U.S. Department of Education on its Notice, Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request; Mandatory Civil Rights Data Collection
NSBA has submitted comments the Notice regarding the U.S. Department of Education (ED) seeking approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to permit ED’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) to make its mandatory civil rights data collection (CRDC) for the 2013-14 and 2015-16 school years a separate data collection from EDFacts. In reviewing the Notice and supporting documents, NSBA has identified several areas of concern with regards to certain proposed new data groups and data categories, as well as proposed revisions to existing data groups and data categories, contained in Attachments A-2 and A-3.

NSBA Submits Comments on FERPA to the Department of Education
NSBA submitted comments to the Department of Education regarding proposed changes to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). The proposed regulations are primarily intended to clarify confusion over when personally identifiable information may be disclosed from education records in regards to the creation of state longitudinal data systems.

NSBA's letter to the U.S. Department of Ed. on December 7, 2010
As you know, on October 26, 2010, the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) of the United States Department of Education issued a "Dear Colleague" Letter to school districts advising of the Department's initiative on bullying in schools. The National School Boards Association (NSBA) shares the deep concern for maintaining the safety of all students and ensuring safe learning environments. However, NSBA's review of the "Dear Colleague" letter identified a number of concerns that we raised in a letter to the Department on December 7, 2010.

NSBA/NEA Issue Joint Publication on Undocumented Children
“Legal Issues for School Districts Related to the Education of Undocumented Children,” a 30-page booklet, has just reached the desk of every public school district in the country and COSA members. Thanks to a grant from the NEA who is distributing 6,000 copies, here is web access to this important resource. We encourage you to download the publication and distribute it widely.

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