News from Thrun Law

December 13, 2021

In last month’s edition of School Law Notes, we discussed the importance of annually filing the Municipal Finance Qualifying Statement form with the Michigan Department of Treasury by December 31. A successful Qualifying Statement submission gives a school “qualified status” for the upcoming year. Obtaining qualified status...

December 8, 2021

Robert M. Thrun (1931 – 2021)

We at Thrun Law Firm are saddened to inform our clients that on December 2, 2021, Robert (“Bob”) M. Thrun, 90, passed away at his winter home in Estero, Florida.

For 68 years, Bob was married to Marjorie, 89, who preceded him in death in August 2021. Together, they raised one son, Richard, and two daughters, Susan (who died in 2019), and Karen. Four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren also survive.

Born on May 30, 1931...

December 6, 2021

If your school has outstanding bonds, it likely entered into a “continuing disclosure agreement” when the bonds were issued. That agreement requires the school to submit certain “continuing disclosure” documents and information annually to the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board’s Electronic Municipal Market Access System (EMMA),...

November 29, 2021

Each year, we receive questions about what schools may do to celebrate the holidays. Those celebrations - whether musical performances, decorative displays, or curricular activities - often involve religious content that implicates the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause. Under the Establishment Clause, the...

November 22, 2021

Public schools across Michigan find themselves in an unfamiliar budgetary situation – more short-term revenue than usual due to the Elementary and Second­ary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Funds and unexpectedly robust state revenues. Labor unions will quickly recognize this circumstance, and will likely pro­pose significant wage increases during contract negotiations and wage reopeners. School negotiators must be prepared to oppose costly legacy increases that the district may not be able...

November 15, 2021

If a school wants to borrow money, obtaining “qualified status” each year from the Michigan Depart­ment of Treasury is critical. Before issuing most types of debt, a school must either have: (1) qualified status; or (2) Treasury’s prior approval. This article provides a brief overview of the two processes and describes the steps a school must take to ensure it obtains qualified status.

Obtaining Treasury’s prior approval is the more costly and time-consuming option. This process often...

November 8, 2021

This month’s Back to Basics article addresses the legal parameters of student searches. When conducting a student search, school officials must understand and evaluate the Fourth Amendment issues that may be implicated.

The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees “the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreason­able searches and seizures” from the State, including public schools. Generally, students have a reasonable...

November 1, 2021

On September 30, 2021, MDE released the 2021-22 Pupil Accounting Manual (PAM). The new PAM is available at:

https://www.michigan.gov/documents/mde/_____2021_22_Pupil_Accounting_Manual_735936_7.pdf

This article highlights changes to the PAM in three specific areas.

Virtual Learning

State School Aid Act (SSAA) Sections 6 and 21f and PAM Section 5-O-D apply...

October 29, 2021

On September 29, 2021, Governor Whitmer signed the 2022 state budget bill, Public Act 87 of 2021(PA 87). PA 87 includes a pro­vision that prohibits and penalizes local health departments from issuing or enforcing certain COVID-19 orders or directives. We ad­dressed the impact of PA 87 on schools in our September 27, 2021 E-Blast, recommending that if a local health officer issues or main­tains an order requiring face masks in schools, school officials should contact their local...

October 1, 2021

Revised School Code Section 1613 allows a school district or ISD to direct local taxing jurisdictions to levy half or all school taxes on July 1 by filing a summer tax resolution with the local taxing jurisdictions. If your district currently has a summer tax levy and would like it to continue in 2022, your board of education must adopt a resolution and file a copy of that resolution with each city and township within the district’s boundaries on or before December 31, 2021.

Please...

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