School Law in Review 2010

Included here is a digest of the papers presented at the Council’s 2010 Annual School Law Seminar as well as the individual papers.


Additional Resources

School Law Seminar 2010

Ethical Challenges of Representing the “Split Board”
This paper explores the ethical challenges facing school board attorneys representing divided boards. The issues discussed include loyalty, confidentiality, whistleblowing, and other aspects of the institutional lawyer-client relationship.

The Year in Review: A Legal Advocacy Update
To say school districts were in the spotlight during the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2008-2009 term would be an understatement. Normally, the annual Supreme Court Update includes summaries of all case possibly relevant to school districts. This year, due to the plethora of potentially relevant cases, only the cases most relevant to school districts are reviewed in this article.

One Year After the Section 504 Amendments: What Have We Learned?
The ADA Amendments Act of 2008 increased the number of individuals who qualify for accommodation under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. This paper examines the new provisions of Section 504 and answers some frequently asked questions.

Playing the Trump Card in School: When Do the Rights of a Special Education Student Trump the Rights of Other Students?
This paper provides suggestions for dealing with issues beyond the inclusion of students with disabilities, such as accomodating students with severe allergies or behavioral problems in general classes.

Legal Issues Regarding Restraints, Time-Outs, and Seclusion in Public Schools
This paper presents guidance and tools for school attorneys to advise school officials on the appropriate use of restraints, seclusion, and time-out rooms with students.

How to Create a "Virtual School"—the Legal Issues
Many school districts are creating “virtual schools” in which students take courses online. This development raises issues to consider such as intellectual property, student discipline, and academic dishonesty.

Tips on Helping School Districts Through Tough Economic Times: A Town Meeting
A discussion of some of the many ways the school district lawyer can assist his or her client in dealing with difficult management decisions required by these tough economic times.

With Strings Attached: Boosters, PTO/PTA, Foundations, Fundraisers and Cellular Tower Leases
School districts increasingly rely on the support of charitable organizations, booster clubs, and foundations to support school activities.

The Path to Litigation Success in Student Related Matters: How to Navigate the Trap of Discovery
Student related litigation places special demands on school districts and their attorneys. Learn how to respond to electronic discovery requests and obtain discovery from a student or their family.

Office for Civil Rights Enforcement Priorities under the Obama Administration:A Change of Direction?
This paper presents an analysis, by topic, of the compliance reviews and investigations conducted by the Office of Civil Rights during the first year of the Obama administration.

ARRA and Equity: The Legal Impact of Common Core Standards and Assessments
An analysis of national common core standards and assessments, their impact on the legal rights of students, and claims brought against school districts for failure to provide equal educational opportunities.

Sexting in Schools: Handling Student Discipline in Light of Technology Changes
School districts face complex legal issues in dealing with student discipline in light of technology changes. Specifically, this paper addresses the problem of “sexting” and examines strategies and practical considerations that school administrators should consider.

Look b4 u Leap! Employment Considerations Before Jumping into the World of Web 2.0
The prevalent use of social networking websites among teachers raises a number of questions. This article explores issues such as e-due diligence, monitoring, discipline, and termination of employees.

Current Trends in California Collective Bargaining
The economic crisis has had far-reaching implications for collective bargaining on issues such as layoffs, ranking teachers, receiving “Race to the Top” funds and health care reform.

Bargaining Trends In Michigan Public Schools
This paper discusses the economic factors and legislative efforts that have played a role in collective bargaining trends in Michigan’s public schools, as well as strategies for school board attorneys to consider.

Highly Confidential Strike Contingency Plan – (Prototype)
This plan provides structure and guidance for school districts and school attorneys on managing work stoppages and teacher strikes. Having a structure in place allows administrators to respond to strike-related events.

Key Strategic Considerations Regarding Communications and Contract Negotiations
This article discusses how to manage issues surrounding work stoppages, including the strategic considerations regarding communication during contract negotiations.

Privileged and Confidential Strike Plan
This strike plan details the responsibilities of selected individuals in the event of a work stoppage.

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