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New Rules: OCR Issues Internal Memorandum Impacting Enforcement Practices for Pending and Future Investigations

Earlier this month, the U. S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights’ Acting Assistant Secretary issued an internal memorandum to Regional Directors eliminating certain existing internal procedures and detailing new practices regarding the investigation of OCR complaints.  With the … Read more

Shipman & Goodwin Hosts Annual Law Day Event

On May 3, 2017, Connecticut area high school students learned firsthand about the legal profession at Shipman & Goodwin’s Law Day 2017, an annual event designed to give students from diverse backgrounds an inside view of life at a law … 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Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy Instructs Connecticut Public Schools to Follow Withdrawn Federal Guidance regarding Transgender Students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students, Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy instructed Connecticut public schools to continue to follow the withdrawn guidance, pending the release of state guidance from the Connecticut … Read more

Supreme Court Rules That Parents Need Not Exhaust IDEA Due Process Procedures for Non-FAPE Disability Discrimination Claims

On February 22, 2017, the Supreme Court of the United States issued its opinion in Fry v. Napoleon Community Schools, No. 15-487 (2017), which addressed the issue of when a parent who brings a claim against a school district … 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

OCR Releases New Section 504 Resource Guide

On December 28, 2016, the Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) within the U.S. Department of Education released several guidance documents, including a Parent and Educator Resource Guide to Section 504 in Public Elementary and Secondary Schools (“Resource Guide to 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

Bill Roberts Suggests Quick Response to Student Data Breaches in SpecialEdConnection Article

With school districts potentially exposed to student data breaches as a result of advances in technology, Bill Roberts advises them to respond quickly when students’ personally identifiable information may be comprised. In an interview with SpecialEdConnection, he points out … Read more

OCR Issues Dear Colleague Letter: Restraint and Seclusion of Students With Disabilities

On December 28, 2016, the Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights (OCR), issued four guidance documents concerning students with disabilities. Along with two documents concerning students with disabilities in public charter schools (FAQs about Charter Schools and IDEARead more

United States Supreme Court to Hear Case Concerning Transgender Student Rights under Title IX

Amid a national background of litigation concerning the U.S. Department of Education’s directives involving the rights of transgender students, on October 28, 2016, the Supreme Court of the United States granted certiorari to review the prominent 4th Circuit Court of … 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

Texas Judge Clarifies Scope of Transgender Guidance Injunction; Feds Appeal to 5th Circuit

We have been tracking the development of litigation concerning rights, obligations, and duties with regard to transgender students as cases unfold across the country.

Earlier this summer, Texas and twelve other states challenged the propriety and legality of a joint … Read more

PTAC Releases Guidance Video Concerning Use of Email and Student Privacy

The Privacy Technical Assistance Center (“PTAC”), a resource established by the U.S. Department of Education, recently released a guidance video concerning the use of email in schools and student data privacy.  In this short video, the Department briefly explains the … Read more

New Title II and Title III ADA Regulations Take Effect October 11, 2016

On October 11, 2016, new regulations clarifying the definition of the term “disability” under Titles II and III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) will take effect.  Title II prohibits disability discrimination by state and local governments (including public … 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

Connecticut Unaffected by Federal Court Order Forbidding Enforcement of Transgender Guidance

Recently, a federal district court in Texas sided with Texas and several other states that challenged federal guidance instructing schools to accommodate transgender students under federal anti-discrimination laws.   The preliminary injunction, issued on the eve of a new school year, … Read more

OSERS Reminds of Need to Consider PBIS; Cautions on Use of Short-Term Removals and Exclusionary Discipline

The United States Department of Education’s Office for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) published a Dear Colleague Letter (DCL) on August 1, 2016 underscoring the importance of positive behavioral interventions and supports for students with disabilities and cautioning individualized … 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

Department of Education Issues New Dear Colleague Letter Regarding the Enrollment of Homeless Students

On July 27, 2016, the United States Department of Education (“Department of Education”) released a dear colleague letter (DCL) and a non-regulatory guidance document (“Guidance Document”) discussing school districts’ obligations under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (“McKinney-Vento Act”) as amended … Read more

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