News from Thrun Law

January 25, 2021

Rising COVID-19 case numbers have caused many Michigan schools to return to remote learning and vir­tual instruction. Although virtual instruction differs from face-to-face instruction, FERPA and Michigan’s student privacy laws still require schools to protect a student’s personally identifiable information.

Using a videoconferencing platform (e.g., Zoom, Google Hangouts, Microsoft Teams) for virtual instruc­tion does not, by itself, violate FERPA. School officials should, however, be...

January 18, 2021

Thrun Law Firm is offering a free virtual half-hour lunch webinar series for its retainer clients. From 12:15 pm – 12:45 pm on the second Thursday of each month, our Title IX practice group will delve into a specific topic related to the sweeping and, often confus­ing, new Title IX regulations. This series, which is intended to help school officials implement the new regulations in a practical way, will include the following topics:

  • The interplay between Title IX and Michigan’s...
January 11, 2021

As school officials evaluate their school’s present and future real property needs, the potential for prop­erty sales may arise. This article addresses frequently asked questions we receive about selling real estate.

  1. Is a school authorized to sell property?

Yes. The Revised School Code provides schools with broad authority to dispose of and convey property to public and private entities. Any...

January 4, 2021

Thrun Law Firm is pleased to announce that Ryan Murray has joined our firm as our newest associate attorney.

Ryan holds an undergraduate degree in Interdisciplinary Studies in Political Science and a Michigan Teaching Certification from Michigan State University (B.A., 2006), a Master of Education degree in Education Administration from Concordia University (M.S., 2013), and a law degree from the Michigan State University College of Law (J.D., 2020, magna cum laude).

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December 28, 2020

It is difficult to say farewell to our colleague and friend Robert Huber, who is retiring from Thrun Law Firm at the end of 2020. Robert’s exemplary service over the past 26 years cannot be overstated and will leave a lasting and positive impact on Michigan schools. Robert’s personable and engaging nature, extensive le­gal knowledge, and exceptional dedication to clients have all been hallmarks of his practice and his time with Thrun Law Firm.

Robert earned his undergraduate degree...

December 21, 2020

Schools that issued tax credit bonds before December 22, 2017 must annually complete and file Form 1097-BTC with the IRS. For tax year 2020, Form 1097-BTC must be filed by mail by March 1, 2021, or filed electronically by March 31, 2021.

Tax credit bonds differ from conventional school bonds because the bond purchaser receives a tax credit in lieu of, or in addition to, periodic interest payments. For schools, tax credit bonds were typically issued as either a Qualified School...

December 17, 2020

After an initial announcement several years ago and several subsequent delays, the Enhanced 911 (E911) requirements adopted by the Michigan Legisla­ture in the Emergency 911 Service Enabling Act, with some exceptions, take effect on December 31, 2020. The E911 requirements apply to any multi-line tele­phone system (MLTS), which is as system comprised of com­mon control unit(s), telephone sets with unique telephone numbers, and control hardware and soft­ware. A school building will often use...

December 14, 2020

If your school has outstanding bonds, it may have entered into a “continuing disclosure agreement” that requires the school to submit certain “continuing disclosure” documents annually to the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board’s Electronic Municipal Market Access System (EMMA), including the school’s audit and updated key financial and operating information.

If your school entered into a continuing disclosure agreement as part of a bond transaction and the bonds are still...

December 7, 2020

On October 14, 2020, MIOSHA released Emergency Rules for COVID-19, which require employers to enact a policy “prohibiting in-person work for employees to the extent that their work activities can feasibly be completed remotely.” MIOSHA further clarified this policy requirement in an FAQ, stating:

MIOSHA will accept a written policy which indicates that employees are not to perform in-person work ac­tivities where the work activity can be feasibly be...

November 30, 2020

In last month’s edition of School Law Notes, we reviewed the importance of filing the Municipal Fi­nance Qualifying Statement form with the Michigan De­partment of Treasury by December 31 each year. A successful Qualifying Statement submission gives a school “qualified status” for the upcoming year. Obtain­ing qualified status allows schools to issue most types of municipal obligations (bonds, state aid notes, and tax notes) without the delay of applying for Treasury pre-approval...

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