05 August 2021

Reminder: Schools Must Display Suicide Preventi...

Last October, the Michigan Legislature passed the Save Our Students Act, which mandates certain requirements for school districts in an effort to prevent youth suicide and facilitate student access to supports. Included in the law is a requirement that, effective October 15, 2021, school districts that offer any of grades 6-12 and that issue identification […]

02 August 2021

OCR Issues Title IX Q&A

After the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) held a virtual public hearing on Title IX, it published a questions-and-answers (Q&A) resource to provide clarification to schools under the current regulations. The resource sheds some light on general obligations, the definition of sexual harassment, and the process of handling cases and responding to […]

26 July 2021

Sixth Circuit: School Board Policies on Public ...

Earlier this month, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit published its decision in Ison v. Madison Local School District Board of Education, addressing the censorship of offensive or critical speech at a public meeting involving a public body or its members.  The court opined that prohibiting speech simply because it may […]

08 July 2021

Sixth Circuit: Even where IDEA does not offer r...

Last week, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit released its decision in Perez v. Sturgis Pub. Schools, No. 20-1076, a case involving a student’s claim for relief under both the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The case solidifies the importance of the requirement […]

07 July 2021

Ann Arbor Students Seek Class Action Suit, Alle...

Last week, families of Ann Arbor Public Schools (AAPS) sued the school district, the Michigan Department of Education (MDE), and Washtenaw Intermediate School District (WISD), claiming special education services to which their children were entitled were not adequately provided during the pandemic. Specifically, the action contains assertions that four AAPS students between the ages of […]

Michigan Court of Appeals Building Interior
21 May 2021

Michigan Court of Appeals Closes Potential FOIA...

Last week, the Michigan Court of Appeals published its decision in Traverse City Record-Eagle v Traverse City Area Public Schools Board of Education, a case involving a significant loophole in the way the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and the Open Meetings Act (OMA) interact. Shortly after the hiring of Traverse City Area Public Schools […]

Michigan Court of Appeals Building Interior
19 April 2021

Michigan Court of Appeals Allows Teacher Aide t...

The Michigan Court of Appeals recently released its unpublished opinion in Harlan v Detroit Public Schools Community School District, a case involving a teacher’s aide (Harlan) who was terminated for allegedly falsifying a report of assault committed by a student.   The pertinent facts are as follows. At the end of the school day, Harlan […]

Michigan Court of Appeals Building Interior
18 March 2021

No Case for Wheelchair-Bound Student Who Collid...

In a recent unpublished case, Storck v. Washtenaw Indep. Sch. Dist., the Michigan Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal of a case involving a wheelchair‑bound student, Ivan Williams, Jr., who suffered an injury while at school.  While being unloaded from the bus after a school trip, the assistant working with Williams placed the wheelchair toward an […]

US Capitol Building in Washington DC
04 March 2021

What the American Rescue Plan means for K-12

Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the American Rescue Plan (ARP), a comprehensive COVID-19 economic relief package. Subtitle A of Title II of the ARP includes proposed funding relief as it relates to education.  The ARP provides about $170 billion in relief for elementary, secondary, and higher education, with approximately $128.6 billion specifically […]

School Lockers
24 February 2021

MDE Deducts Hefty Sum for Principal Without Val...

Late last month, the 30th Judicial Circuit Court for Ingham County released its opinion in Tecumseh Public Schools v. Michigan Department of Education.  The case involved the District’s appeal relative to a state funding deduction imposed after it employed an administrator lacking the prerequisites for an administrator certification. The District hired Carl Lewandowski in 1997 […]