News from Thrun Law

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this month, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) reissued an opinion letter from January 15, 2009 that it had previously withdrawn.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...

December 21, 2017

The Michigan Legislature recently passed HB 5126 amending the definition of “school personnel” as it applies to Revised School Code Sections 1307-1307h, which address the use of emergency seclusion and restraint in schools. Thrun attorney Dan Martin testified on the bill before the House Education Reform Committee, emphasizing the need for clarifying legislation to exclude law enforcement officers from the definition of school personnel in those sections. We anticipate that Governor Snyder...

November 13, 2017

When Andy Williams sang “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” he clearly was not singing to school administrators! The next couple of months can be stressful for school officials seeking to navigate the holiday season without violating the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause. Our gift to you is guidance on how to handle...

October 30, 2017

The importance of obtaining “qualified status” each year from the Michigan Department of Treasury cannot be overemphasized. School districts, intermediate school districts, and public school academies that obtain qualified status are able to issue new bonds and notes faster and pay lower filing fees to the State of Michigan. Schools...

September 28, 2017

On September 15, 2017, the Michigan Department of Treasury notified all public employers of the “hard cap” contribution limits under the Publicly Funded Health Insurance Contribution Act for medical benefit plans renewing after January 1, 2018. The 2018 cap amounts were increased by 3.4%. The adjustment is based on the change in the medical care component of the consumer price index for the previous 12-month period.

For medical benefit plan coverage years beginning on or after January...

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