News from Thrun Law

January 21, 2019

While school board elections take place on the even-year November election date, a 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.

May 7, 2019
August 6, 2019
November 5, 2019

A certified copy of the school board resolution approving ballot language for millage...

January 14, 2019

In a case handled by Thrun Law Firm, a Michigan Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) recently ruled that a student’s disability did not cause her misconduct and that the school’s decision to expel the student did not violate the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

A 12th grade student with a physical impairment reported to school administrators that a male student forced her to engage in sexual activity on the school bus. The school conducted a prompt investigation and determined...

January 7, 2019

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, which includes Michigan, recently rejected an employee’s failure to accommodate claim under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) because the employer appropriately engaged the employee in the ADA’s interactive process. Brumley v United Parcel Service Inc, Case No. 18-5453 (November 30, 2018). While this result is not surprising, it serves as a reminder of the importance of engaging qualified employees with a disability in the interactive process to...

January 2, 2019

Thrun Law Firm announces the well-deserved retirement of our colleague and friend Kevin Harty who is retiring after 36 years of exemplary service to this Firm and the school districts throughout Michigan. As many of you know, Kevin’s tireless efforts in representing our clients, coupled with his legal expertise and keen sense of humor, has significantly shaped the landscape of Michigan’s school law.

Kevin’s impact on jurisprudence concerning Michigan school districts can be seen in...

October 15, 2018

In a memorandum dated September 17, 2018, 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 on or after January 1, 2019. The 2018 cap amounts were increased by 1.9%. 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...

October 8, 2018

The U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, whose decisions are binding in Michigan, recently ruled in favor of the parents of a special education student who privately placed the student and sought reimburse­ment from the public school. L.H. v Hamilton Co Dep’t of Ed, Nos. 17-5989/18-5086 (CA 6, August 20, 2018).

L.H. is a 13-year-old student with Down syn­drome. He was educated in the general education classroom through second grade, receiving “pull-out” and “push-in” services...

October 1, 2018

Does your school currently have a summer tax levy of either 50% or 100%? Does your school wish to continue levying summer taxes for the 2019 tax year? If the answer to both questions is “yes,” then your school’s board of education must adopt a resolu­tion to continue the summer tax levy and file a copy of that resolution with each city and township within your school’s boundaries on or before December 31, 2018. A suggested resolution form is attached to this news­letter. NOTE: Do not use the...

September 27, 2018

One area commonly addressed by board policies and administrative guidelines is student discipline procedures, includ­ing suspension and expulsion hearings. Many schools, however, have administrative guidelines for student suspension and disci­pline hearings that violate Section 7(2) of the Open Meetings Act (OMA). These problematic guidelines state that a student has a right to receive a transcript of a student discipline hearing upon a parent’s or the student’s request, regardless of...

September 24, 2018

Vaping, a phenomenon in which an individual uses an e-cigarette or other electronic nicotine delivery system (ENDS) device to inhale vapor, has surged in popularity among students in recent years. The FDA’s definition of “tobacco product” now includes ENDS devices, but many board policies and handbook lan­guage on the use of tobacco products do not encompass ENDS devices or their component parts.

Thrun Law Firm has developed model policy and handbook language prohibiting the use of...

September 1, 2018

On July 3, 2018, the U.S. Departments of Justice and Education jointly released a new “Dear Colleague Letter” (DCL) withdrawing the following previously released guidance documents:

  • December 2, 2011 Dear Colleague Letter Regarding the Use of Race by Educational Institutions;
  • 2011 Guidance on the Voluntary Use of Race to Achieve Diversity in Postsecondary Education dated December 2, 2011;
  • 2011 Guidance on the Voluntary Use of Race to Achieve Diversity and Avoid...