News from Thrun Law

April 26, 2018

Glen Lake Community Schools’ former superintendent (“Superintendent”) resigned a few years ago after the board or­dered an independent audit of whether the district had appropriately tracked administrators’ time off. The audit was ordered following the Superintendent’s use of leave, including leave protected by the Family and...

April 15, 2018

Public Act 23 of 2018 amends Section 705 of the Revised School Code to allow public school academies (PSAs) and intermediate school districts (ISDs) to re­ceive a portion of the revenue generated from a re­gional enhancement millage approved or renewed on or after May 15, 2018.

With ISD-wide voter approval, the Revised School Code allows an ISD to levy a “regional enhancement millage” of up to three mills and distribute the revenue to its constituent schools. Regional enhancement...

April 9, 2018

Recently, the Sixth Circuit issued a unanimous decision that established “discrimination on the basis of transgender and transitioning status violates Title VII.” In EEOC v RG & GR Harris Funeral Homes, Inc, the employer, a funeral home, fired an employee, Aimee Stephens, who was in the process of transitioning from male to female. The employee sued, claiming that the employer discriminated against her on the basis of sex.

Title VII prohibits employers from discriminating...

March 29, 2018

In a case handled by Thrun Law Firm, the Michigan Court of Appeals affirmed a Michigan Em­ployment Relations Commission (MERC) decision, which found that a union committed an unfair labor practice by demanding to arbitrate a school’s decision to issue a written reprimand to a teacher. Ionia Co Intermediate Ed Ass’n v Ionia Co Intermediate Sch Dist, Case No. 334573 (February 22, 2018). While MERC has consistently held that a decision involving teacher discipline is a prohibited...

March 5, 2018

MDE issued a memorandum this month reminding schools of sexual harassment obligations under State and federal law. MDE noted that both Michigan’s Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act and Title IX of the Edu­cation Amendments Act prohibit sexual harassment, a prohibition that protects all individuals, including students, employees, parents, and guardians.

MDE stressed that schools have numerous obligations under Title IX, including the following:

  1. Adopt and publish a Title IX...
February 22, 2018

Boards planning to nonrenew an administrator’s employment contract must take steps to comply with the timelines and proce­dural requirements in Section 1229 of the Revised School Code. Failure to follow the statutory nonrenewal process (or related con­tract provisions) may result in the administrator’s contract renewing for an...

February 19, 2018

Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) reissued an opinion letter from January 15, 2009 that it had previously withdrawn. The reissued opinion letter provides guidance about how school districts should classify and compensate community members who serve as athletic coaches. The DOL de­termined that certain athletic coaches who are not otherwise employed by the school district meet the “teacher exemption” under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

By meeting the “...

February 5, 2018

A California federal court recently granted a student’s motion for preliminary injunction, holding that the student athlete was entitled to kneel during the playing of the national anthem as part of the pregame ceremonies. V.A. v San Pasqual Valley Unified Sch Dist, Case No. 17-cv-02741-BAS-AGS (SD Cal, Dec. 21, 2017). The...

January 15, 2018

While school board elections take place on the even-year November election date, a school district may place millage and bond propositions on the ballot on any of the three regular election dates each year (four election dates in a presidential election year), as well as on certain petition initiative election dates.

The 2018 regular election dates for millage or bond proposals are:

May 8, 2018
August 7, 2018
November 6, 2018

A certified...