Archives: Federal and State Role in Education

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New Legislation Revises Physical Restraint and Seclusion Training Requirements

This is an updated version of the original post, Legislature Revises Physical Restraint and Seclusion Training Requirements, published on June 28, 2017.

Earlier this month, the Governor signed Public Act 17-220 (House Bill 7276), which contains a number of … Read more

Legislature Revises Physical Restraint and Seclusion Training Requirements

Earlier this month, the General Assembly passed House Bill 7276, now Public Act 17-220, which contains a number of provisions aimed at providing “mandate relief” to boards of education.  Section 5 of Public Act 17-220, effective July 1, 2017, … Read more

Fourth Circuit Reverses Preliminary Injunction in Transgender Student Rights Case; Adds its Two Cents

In March of 2017, the Supreme Court of the United States remanded the high profile transgender student rights case, Gloucester County School Board v. G.G. ex rel. Grimm, no 16-273, to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals for further … Read more

Supreme Court Clarifies FAPE Standard in Endrew F. Case

IEPs Must Be Reasonably Calculated to Enable Appropriate Progress in Light of Child’s Circumstances

For the first time in nearly 35 years, the Supreme Court of the United States has addressed the legal standard by which courts determine whether a … Read more

Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy Instructs Connecticut Public Schools to Follow Withdrawn Federal Guidance regarding Transgender Students

Yesterday, in response to the withdrawal of federal guidance relating to the rights of transgender students, Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy instructed Connecticut public schools to continue to follow the withdrawn guidance, pending the release of state guidance from the Connecticut … Read more

U.S. Departments of Justice and Education Withdraw Federal Transgender Student Guidance

On February 22, 2017, the U.S. Departments of Justice and Education withdrew guidance for educational institutions, issued in 2015 and 2016, that took the position that the prohibitions in Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and implementing regulations … Read more

State Department of Education Addresses Immigration Executive Order

On January 30, 2017, the Connecticut State Department of Education (“CSDE”) released a memorandum titled, “Guidance for Districts Regarding Refugee Students,” in response to an Executive Order signed on January 27, 2017, restricting immigration into the United States.  … Read more

U.S. Department of Education Changes Name of Office Responsible for FERPA

On January 19, 2017, the U.S. Department of Education issued new Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA”) regulations that change the name of office that administers and enforces FERPA from the Family Policy Compliance Office (“FPCO”) to the Office … Read more

Oral Argument Presented in Supreme Court Case Addressing the Level of Educational Benefit that must be Provided under IDEA

On January 11, 2017, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in the case of Endrew F. ex rel. Joseph F. v. Douglas County School District RE 1, Docket No. 15-187, to address the level of benefit a school … Read more

Supreme Court to Revisit Rowley IDEA FAPE Standard for First Time in Nearly 35 Years

On September 29, 2016, the Supreme Court of the United States agreed to hear the case of Endrew F. ex rel. Joseph F. v. Douglas County School District RE 1, Docket No. 15-187  to decide the question “What is … Read more

U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of Justice Release Dear Colleague Letters Jointly Announcing New SECURe Rubrics for School Resource Officer Programs

On September 8, 2016, the United States Department of Education and the United States Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (“COPS”) jointly released new guidance regarding school resource officer programs.  The new Safe School-based Enforcement through Collaboration, … Read more

Superior Court Judge Rules Connecticut Education System Unconstitutional

On Wednesday, September 7, 2016, Hartford Superior Court Judge Thomas G. Moukawsher ruled in the case of Connecticut Coalition for Justice in Education Funding v. Rell, x07 HHD 14-5037565-S, that the current Connecticut education system violates the state constitution.  … Read more

New Complaint Challenges Constitutionality of Connecticut Educational System

On August 23, 2016, four Connecticut parents, on behalf of themselves and their seven children, filed a 71-page complaint in the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut against Governor Dannel Malloy and Commissioner of Education Dianna Wentzell, … Read more

FCC Issues Declaratory Ruling that School Districts May Make “Robocalls” Without Violating Telephone Consumer Protection Act

The Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) recently issued a declaratory ruling confirming “that school callers may lawfully make robocalls and send automated texts to student family wireless phones pursuant to an ‘emergency purpose’ exception or with prior express consent without violating … Read more

Federal Court of Appeals Defers to OCR and Concludes Title IX Permits Transgender Students to Use Restrooms Based on Gender Identity

In a closely watched case, the federal Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit reversed a lower court decision and, in a 2-1 split opinion, held that, based on guidance from the federal Office for Civil Rights (OCR) within the … Read more

U.S. Departments of Education and Health and Human Services Issues Joint Policy Letter On Improving School-Based Health

The United States Departments of Education and Health and Human Services (the “Departments”) recently issued a joint policy letter emphasizing the importance of improving school-based health through the use of partnerships between health and education agencies.  The Departments’ letter highlighted … Read more

U.S. Department of Education Weighs in Against an Oregon Bill which would Make it Easier for Students to Opt Out of Testing

The question of the ability of students to “opt out” of mandated standardized testing is one that occupied many school districts during Connecticut’s most recent round of statewide testing. The U.S. Department of Education has now weighed in on this … Read more

Federal Government Files ‘Statement of Interest’ In Gender-Identity Case

In recent years, there have been increasing concerns involving discrimination faced by the transgender community.  Not surprisingly, these concerns have centered on the challenges faced by gender non-conforming students and whether the needs of such students are being met by … Read more

New School Security and Safety Standards Encourage, but no Longer Mandate, ICS Courses for All Employees

The Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security (DEMHS) within the Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP) recently released revised school security and safety plan standards that no longer require that all school employees complete certain Incident … Read more

Court Rejects Challenge to School Vaccination Requirement

The recent outbreak of measles that has been traced back to Disneyland has made the issue of childhood vaccinations, and the various state laws that require vaccinations, a hot topic. Despite the recent furor over Ebola and the fear of … Read more

Ninth Circuit Decision Provides Useful Guidance for Title IX Compliance

The Ninth Circuit US Court of Appeals, in Ollier v. Sweetwater Union High School District, recently affirmed a district court’s judgment granting declaratory and injunctive relief to the plaintiffs in a class action suit brought pursuant to Title IX, … Read more

FAPE-Based Approach to Bullying Complaints

On October 21, 2014, United States Assistant Secretary Catherine Lhamon issued another Dear Colleague Letter on the topic of bullying of students with disabilities.  This is the fourth letter from the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) or … Read more

Equal Access for All: Department of Education Issues Guidance on Educational Resources Equity

U.S. Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights in the Department of Education, Catherine Lhamon, recently issued a “Dear Colleague” letter to states, school districts and schools to ensure that students have equal access to educational resources. The guidance, issued by the … Read more

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