On January 7, 2019, the Supreme Court of the United States denied certiorari in Ferguson-Florissant School District v. Missouri Conference of NAACP.  This case involves the Ferguson-Florissant School District (“FFSD”), a St. Louis area school district created after a 1975 desegregation order required the original FFSD to annex two neighboring school districts “to achieve a meaningful desegregation” within one unified district. United States v. Missouri, 515 F.2d 1365, 1366 (8th Cir. 1975) (en banc).

This lawsuit challenged FFSD’s method of electing school board members. The suit alleged that the at-large, popular vote, system, in which people only vote once for a candidate, was racially biased against African-American candidates.  This lawsuit was originally filed in 2014, when six of the seven school board members were Caucasian, even though about four-fifths of FFSD’s student population was African-American and approximately fifty percent of its voting age population was African-American. Continue Reading U.S. Supreme Court Declines Review of Ferguson-Florissant School District v. Missouri Conference of NAACP

The Department of Education (“ED” or the “Department”) issued its long-awaited Notice of Proposed Rulemaking[1] to amend regulations implementing Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (“Title IX”) on November 29, 2018. Comments to the proposed regulation are due on or before January 30, 2019. Here are ten notice requirements the proposed regulation would impose on elementary and secondary schools if they become final. Continue Reading 10 Notice Requirements in the Department of Education’s Proposed Title IX Regulations

The Department of Education (“ED” or the “Department”) issued its long-awaited Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to amend regulations implementing Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (“Title IX”) on November 29, 2018. As the Department has acknowledged, the proposed rules would adopt standards that significantly depart from those set forth in prior ED regulations and guidance under Title IX. Although much of the debate regarding the proposed rules has focused on institutions of higher education’s treatment of sexual harassment, the proposed rules also would significantly impact elementary and secondary schools. Husch Blackwell’s education team offers the following overview of the proposed rules, with a focus on the Department’s regulation of K-12 institutions. Continue Reading Department of Education Issues New Title IX Regulations: What this Means for Elementary and Secondary Schools

In light of the 2017-2018 U.S. Supreme Court term ending and the 2018-2019 Supreme Court term beginning with new Justice Brett Kavanaugh, school district personnel must be mindful of the recent Supreme Court holdings and significant cases the Court may hear this term. Continue Reading The Supreme Court with Justice Kavanaugh: What Might Recent and Future Cases Mean for Urban Education?

D.C. Circuit Judge Brett Kavanaugh was nominated on July 9, 2018 to the Supreme Court by President Donald Trump. Should he be confirmed, his appointment could have far reaching effects to educational entities across the country. Kavanaugh is a strong proponent of religious liberty and second amendment rights, and has issued a variety of high-profile opinions. Continue Reading Supreme Court Nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh & Education Law

The United States Supreme Court abandoned its longstanding physical presence nexus standard for sales/use tax collection previously decided in Quill Corp. v. North Dakota, 504 U.S. 298 (1992) and National Bella Hess Inc. v. Department of Revenue of Illinois, 386 U.S. 753 (1967) with a decision announced last week in South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc. et al.  Following South Dakota v. Wayfair, remote sellers with no physical presence in a state, but with substantial virtual and economic presence, can be compelled to collect sales/use tax without violating the commerce clause. Continue Reading Supreme Court Paves Way for Additional School Funding in South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc.

Last Friday, Governor Greitens approved Missouri House Bill 1413 (“HB 1413”). Once effective, HB 1413 will prohibit Missouri labor unions from withholding earnings from public employees for the purpose of paying any portion of dues or fees, without yearly written or electronic authorization. These restrictions will apply to both members and nonmembers of labor unions. Continue Reading Missouri Governor Approves New Law Impacting Labor Unions and Missouri School Districts

men women bathroomWithin the last couple of weeks, two decisions were issued that relate to transgender students’ use of facilities in public schools.  In Grimm v. Gloucester County School Board, on remand from the U.S. Supreme Court and the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, a federal district court judge denied the Gloucester County school board’s motion to dismiss the plaintiff’s amended complaint. The plaintiff, a transgender student named Gavin Grimm, alleges the school board’s policy prohibiting his use of the bathroom that corresponds to his gender identity, rather than his biological sex, is unconstitutional. Likewise, in Doe v. Boyertown Area School District, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit unanimously rejected an appeal from the denial of a preliminary injunction seeking to block the school district’s policy allowing students to use sex-segregated facilities corresponding to their gender identity. Continue Reading Update on Federal Courts Addressing Transgender Issues in Schools: Grimm v. Gloucester County School Board and Doe v. Boyertown Area School District

In light of ever-increasing use (and abuse) of social media, school district personnel must be mindful of the rights and responsibilities—of students and of the school districts themselves—that come with this technology.

Interested in learning more about these rights and responsibilities?  If you are a Husch Blackwell client or a member of the Council of the Great City Schools, join us next Tuesday, May 22, at 2:30 Eastern Daylight Time for a complimentary continuing legal education webinar.  Click here to register. Continue Reading Student Use of Social Media: Rights and Responsibilities