News from Thrun Law

March 27, 2023

School officials preparing to negotiate successor collective bargaining agreements should review their contracts to determine if any contract contains a “zipper clause”. As explained by the Michigan Employment Relations Commission (MERC), a zipper clause provides that the contract is the full agreement of the parties and that, while it is in effect, neither party can be required to engage in further collective bargaining regarding any matter not covered by the agreement. Such a clause avoids...

March 20, 2023

While preparing for a school bond election to finance a construction project, you may receive a proposal from an architectural or construction management firm for certain pre-bond services. Those services often include helping prepare a Michigan Department of Treasury preliminary qualification application and providing bond campaign assistance.

Many times, proposals include unwanted terms and conditions. Proposals also may include post-bond implementation services, undesirable...

March 13, 2023

The RSC’s statewide school safety information policy is amended as of March 29, 2023, to include “critical incident mapping data” in the information that a school board must provide to appropriate law enforcement agencies. The amendment states:

  1. "Critical incident mapping data" means information provided in an electronic or digital format to assist law enforcement or emergency first responders in an emergency. The information provided...
March 6, 2023

Many school officials have received this dreaded Monday morning phone call: Over the weekend, two students engaged in misconduct off school grounds and parents want to know what the school is going to do about it.

Whether the school has authority to discipline students involved in off-campus misconduct is a highly fact-specific inquiry that depends on the nature of the misconduct and the nexus between it and the school.  A school does not have the authority to discipline solely...

February 24, 2023

Revised School Code Section 1229 establishes deadlines, timelines, and procedural requirements for nonrenewing an administrator’s (but not a superintendent’s) expiring employment contract. Because the statutory nonrenewal timeline requires at least 90 days lead time before the employment contract’s termination date (i.e., April 1 for a contract ending June 30), we recommend starting the nonrenewal process no later than March 15 for contracts that will expire on June 30. Failure to follow the...

February 20, 2023

Thrun Law Firm recently contributed to an amicus (friend of the court) brief with the National School Boards Association in support of Sturgis Public Schools, which was argued before the U.S. Supreme Court on January 18, 2023. In filing an amicus brief, an individual or organization who is not a party to a legal case assists the court by offering information, expertise, and insight that has bearing on the issues in the case. The Court will decide whether, and under what circumstances, courts...

February 13, 2023

As we pass the school year’s halfway point, school officials should begin considering whether to nonrenew the contracts of poorly performing probationary teachers. Failure to comply with statutory timelines and procedures may result in an unintended contract extension or a teacher acquiring tenure.

Probationary Period

Typically, a teacher must serve an initial 5-year probationary period and receive an “effective” or “highly effective” evaluation...

February 6, 2023

Due to popular demand, Thrun Law Firm is once again offering three different trainings to assist schools with their Title IX compliance: Comprehensive Title IX Sexual Harassment training, Title IX Coordinator train­ing, and Title IX Investigator training. The Comprehensive Title IX Sexual Harassment training (or a similar training) is a prerequisite for both the Title IX Coordinator and Investigator trainings.

We still see many schools that do not have appropriately trained staff or...

January 30, 2023

The available 2023 regular election dates for millage or bond proposals are on the following Tuesdays:

May 2
August 8
November 7

A certified copy of the school board resolution approving ballot language for a millage or bond proposal must be filed with the school’s election coordinator (typically the county clerk) at least 12 weeks before the chosen election date. For the May 2023 election date, that filing deadline is Tuesday, February 7,...

January 27, 2023

January is School Board Recognition Month. Thrun Law Firm has had the privilege of working with Michigan school boards for over 75 years. We recognize your commitment, dedication, and passion. We applaud the positive impact your efforts have on your students and your schools. Thank you for the continuing opportunity to work with you in serving your communities.