School Law in Review 2009

Included here is a digest of the papers presented at the Council’s 2009 Annual School Law Seminar as well as the individual papers.

Additional Resources

Legal Issues Related to the Education of Undocumented Children
This article highlights some of the many legal issues related to the education of undocumented immigrant children. It attempts to identify strategies for meeting the needs of students and for reducing legal risks as immigrant populations continue to grow.

Preparing the School Employee, Employer, and Student for Immigration Enforcement Actions
From the perspective of an immigration attorney, a school attorney, and an ICE official learn what employers should do when contacted by a government agent, how to devise a school action plan for raids in the community, and what immigration compliance files should contain.

Navigating Free Speech Issues in the Public Schools: the Twists of Cyberspace and Turns of Religion
A look at free speech matters that challenge public schools with a particular focus on the intersection of religion and education, employee and student personal expression, equal access issues for student groups and third-party groups, religious displays on campus, parental rights, internet usage, and more.

What to Do When OCR Comes Knocking: Review and Analysis of OCR’s New Opportunities for Early Complaint Resolution
A practical session on what is new in the OCR compliance manual, procedures, and priorities. Learn about the evaluation process, resolution opportunities, and best practices from the government’s perspective as well as that of an experienced school attorney.

Negotiating a Superintendent Contract
Simple and effective tips for negotiating superintendent contacts as well as all aspects of the negotiation process will be the focus of this paper. Common pitfalls and practical solutions from the moment the candidate is identified until the contract is signed will be addressed.

Tales from the Darkside: Teacher Termination Hints and Tricks from a Former Union Lawyer
Get a glimpse into the tactics used against schools in the teacher termination process by this former union attorney. Learn about multiple union strategies, analyze potential teacher defense tactics, and better understand how to improve teacher termination cases.

Mother May I? Tensions Between Parents’ Rights and School District Mandates
In this world of dynamic family configurations, including divorce, adoption, court custody, and group home placements, it is often a mystery who holds education rights and what that means, including access to pupil records.

Response to Intervention: the Legal Ups and Downs of Implementation
Many states now mandate that school districts implement RtI as their primary service delivery model for regular and special education students. Learn about the possibilities and pitfalls of RtI, including its impact on school personnel.

Rowley is Alive and Well, Thank You!
Review of recent judicial decisions from all federal circuits that endorse Rowley’s holding regarding “some educational benefit” and discretion for school districts in selecting methodology.

Disciplining Students with Disabilities: The Special Education Director's Perspective and the School Attorney's Perspective
Learn creative and practical solutions to questions and concerns that commonly arise regarding removals and changes of placement, manifestation determination, interim alternative placements, appeals, and disciplining students not yet qualified for IDEA.

Employee or Independent Contractor: The Legal and Ethical Dilemma of Worker Classification Determinations
School attorneys are often carried as employees of their school district clients, the effect of which is to qualify them for pensions and benefits. What are the ethical and legal consequences?

The Future of Unfunded Mandates Under the NCLB: School District of the City of Pontiac v. Spellings
The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals determined, in a case currently awaiting en banc review, that NCLB violates the U.S. Constitution’s Spending Clause. The legal implications of the decision are discussed especially in regard to districts receiving Title I funds.

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