News from Thrun Law

June 3, 2014

MERC recently rejected an unfair labor practice (“ULP”) charge alleging that the Pontiac School District violated a collective bargaining agreement by requiring teachers to collect student questionnaires and involuntarily transferring a teacher.  Pontiac Sch Dist, MERC Case No. C12 D-070 (March, 17, 2014).

After the collective bargaining agreement ex­pired, the district required its teachers to participate in a student questionnaire program. The district stat­ed that it would...

June 2, 2014

Recent changes to Section 47 of Michigan’s Cam­paign Finance Act require a communication (e.g., telephone call or television commercial) that refer­ences an election, candidate, or ballot question to contain a conspicuous statement identifying the per­son paying for the communication in certain circum­stances.

Under prior law, only a communication contain­ing express words of advocacy, such as “vote for,” “elect,” “cast your ballot for,” and “vote against,” was required to contain an...

April 30, 2014

Michigan law requires a school board to adopt its budget before the beginning of the fiscal year (July 1). School officials should be aware of budget adoption legislation that took effect in 1995 (PA 40 of 1995), which significantly altered a school district’s obliga­tions for truth-in-taxation and budget adoption pro­cedures. That legislation permits a school district to dispense with the truth-in-taxation process if it takes certain steps as part of the budget adoption process.


April 27, 2014

 Governor Snyder recently signed Public Act 12 of 2014, which modifies the frequency and recording requirements for school safety drills. The Act amends Section 19 of the Fire Prevention Code and is effective July 1, 2014. Under the new requirements, any school that operates “any of grades” kindergarten to 12 must conduct at least...

April 14, 2014

 The U.S. Department of Education recently issued guidelines for schools on the use, storage, and security of data generated by technology-related educational tools.  The guidelines are not binding federal regulations, but offer best practices for student privacy and security concerns.

Online educational tools often give...

April 8, 2014

Thrun Law Firm will present its annual seminar for school administrators and board members on current developments in school law. The alternative dates and locations are:

Wednesday, April 16, 2014, Marquette
Landmark Inn, 230 North Front Street

Wednesday, April 23, 2014, Mt. Pleasant
Comfort Inn & Suites, 2424 South Mission

Thursday, April 24 2014, Gaylord
Otsego Club, 696 M-32 East


March 31, 2014

 As we anticipate the end of a historic Michigan winter, a refresher on properly counting and allocating FMLA leave in connection with snow days is in order.

The FMLA allows 12 weeks of unpaid leave in a 12-month period (for most qualifying reasons) if an employee: (1) worked at least 12 months for a covered employer; (2)...

March 11, 2014

School officials are reminded that, in December 2012, the Michigan Legislature amended the Open Meetings Act to add a website notice requirement for special and rescheduled regular board meetings.

The OMA’s website notice requirement applies to public bodies (including boards of school districts, PSAs, and ISDs) that “directly or indirectly [maintain] an internet presence that includes monthly or more frequent updates of public meeting agendas or minutes.” The website notice must...

February 27, 2014

   Poor road conditions and brutal cold have caused many school administrators to cancel an inordinate number of school days, raising concerns about satisfying the State School Aid Act’s minimum pupil instruction requirements. Section 101 of the Act requires at least 1,098 hours and 170 days of pupil instruction in the 2013-14...

February 11, 2014

On January 21, 2014, the Michigan Employment Relations Commission (“MERC”) upheld an Administrative Law Judge’s Decision and Recommended Order finding that school districts have the right to impose the “cap” option under the Publicly Funded Health Insurance Contribution Act (PA 152 of 2011). Decatur Pub Schs -and- Van Buren Ed Ass’n, Case No. C12 F-123 and Case No. C12 F-124. MERC also found that school districts have no duty to bargain over the method used to comply with PA 152....