Education Law Blog

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The Education Law Blog offers updates, insights and advice on education in Michigan.

12 April 2021

Sixth Circuit Allows Professor to Move Forward ...

In a recent case, Meriwether v. Hartop, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit addressed the important issue of pronoun policies in educational settings.  Meriwether, a professor at Shawnee State University, objected to a university policy requiring employees to refer to students by their preferred pronouns.  Meriwether sought an accommodation for his sincerely held […]

 
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In a recent unpublished case, Storck v. Washtenaw Indep.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 […]

26 February 2021

House Passes Additional Protections for LGBTQ C...

On February 25, 2021, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill that would extend civil rights protections for the LGBTQ community.  The legislation passed 224 to 206 along party lines.  Despite passage by the House, some remain skeptical of the bill’s ability to pass scrutiny from the Senate. The House-adopted legislation – dubbed “The […]

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 […]

09 February 2021

State Superintendent Advocates for More Instruc...

At a joint hearing between the Senate Education and Career Readiness Committee and the House Education Committee, Dr. Rice, Michigan Superintendent of Schools, encouraged legislators to consider additional instructional time in the upcoming academic school year to address foregone student learning. The joint committee hearing took place last week, where Dr. Rice testified that the […]

401 K
08 February 2021

Tax Relief for Teachers – IRS Releases New Guid...

As the costs of school supplies rise, and teachers and other educators consider how to keep students safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, the government is providing some relief.  Under the COVID-Related Tax Relief Act, passed as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (“CAA”), teachers and other educators can now deduct out-of-pocket expenses for COVID-19 […]

28 January 2021

Biden Administration Revisits School Bathroom D...

The Biden administration has hit the ground running.  As has been widely reported, President Biden signed dozens of executive orders in his first week in office.  Amid the flurry, you may have missed one signed on his first day, titled “Executive Order on Preventing and Combating Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Sexual […]

27 January 2021

Deadline Extended for Michigan Public Schools t...

In a previous communication, clients were notified of an upcoming deadline relative to the opportunity to participate in a proposed IRS closing agreement for 3% retiree healthcare contributions.  The substance of the issue was summarized on Miller Johnson’s Education Law Blog and is accessible for review here. Miller Johnson has now received information from the […]