News from Thrun Law

October 30, 2015

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 more swiftly and pay lower filing fees to the State of Michigan. Schools that do not obtain qualified status may experi­ence significant delays in issuing bonds and notes during calendar year 2016. Those delays may be especially...

September 29, 2015

In a matter handled by Thrun, the Michigan Employment Relations Commission recently offered additional guidance on the treatment of prohibited bargaining subjects contained in section 15 of the Pub­lic Employment Relations Act.  Ionia Pub Schs and Ionia Ed Ass’n, MERC Case Nos. C12 E-094, CU12 C-013 (December 18, 2014)...

September 5, 2015

School officials must proactively protect public property from “squatters.” The Michigan Court of Appeals recently ruled that the statutory protection from adverse possession or acquiescence claims ap­plies only when the municipal corporation initiates a lawsuit to protect public property, and not as a de­fense to a claim brought against the municipal corporation. Waisanen Family Trust v Superior Twp, 305 Mich App 719 (2014).

In 1971, Ken Waisanen bought property that abutted...

August 27, 2015

The Michigan Supreme Court recently issued an order denying the MEA’s applica­tion for leave to appeal in Baumgartner v Perry Pub Schs, Docket No. 151479 (July 10, 2015). The Court’s order lets stand the Court of Appeals’ ruling that the State Tenure Commission lacks jurisdiction to hear layoff and recall cases.  We first reported on the Baumgartner decision in the March 26, 2015 edition of School Law Notes.

The Baumgartner decision is now a final...

August 13, 2015

The Michigan Court of Appeals recently ruled that a city’s failure to reappoint a polit­ical appointee to an administrative position after his term expired is not an “adverse em­ployment action” that can give rise to liability under Michigan’s Whistleblower Protection Act (“WPA”). Whitman v City of Burton, Dock­et No. 294703 (July 9, 2015). The court also held that, under the WPA, “protected activity” does not include conduct that objectively serves an individual’s personal interest...

July 30, 2015

Governor Snyder recently signed a bill package to earlier identify and resolve fiscal stress in schools that combines enhanced financial reporting, “potential” fis­cal stress determinations, modified deficit elimination plan requirements, and state aid withholding. This article summarizes the legislation.

Financial...

July 27, 2015

On Friday, February 27th Thrun Law Firm temporarily relocated its East Lansing office to Honolulu, Hawaii in an effort to cope with Michigan's harsh...

July 16, 2015

The Michigan Court of Appeals recently held that teachers, both tenured and probationary, may bring a claim under Section 1248 of the Revised School Code in circuit court challenging a layoff-related decision based upon the district’s alleged failure to adopt and implement a performance evaluation system in com­pliance with Section 1249. Summer v Southfield Bd of Ed, Docket No. 320680 (June 2, 2015). This decision illustrates the importance of ensuring that teacher and administrator...

June 25, 2015

The Michigan Department of Education issued a memorandum on May 14, 2015 announcing that all Michigan educators may use District Provided Professional Development (DPPD) to advance a provi­sional teaching certificate to a professional education certificate or to renew the following MDE issued certificates or licenses:

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May 18, 2015

As the end of the school year approaches, school officials should be finalizing year-end teacher evaluations. To assist our clients with the legal stand­ards for teacher evaluations found in Revised School Code Section 1249, we have created a flow chart (at­tached) which summarizes the requirements, including classroom observations...

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