News from Thrun Law

February 22, 2021

Public Act 295 of 2020, effective March 24, 2021, amends parts of the Sex Offenders Registration Act (SORA). Most significantly for schools, the amendments eliminate the “student safety zone,” which was defined as “the area that lies 1,000 feet or less from school prop­erty.” Before the amendments, SORA prohibited regis­tered sex offenders from living, working, or loitering in that zone.

The amendments were enacted to align with a series of court rulings from Doe v Snyder. In...

February 15, 2021

On January 22, 2021, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services issued an order effectively extending the indoor gathering limitations through February 21, 2021. Although the order lists certain ex­ceptions to the indoor gathering limitations, no excep­tion allows in-person school board meetings indoors. Consequently, school boards must hold indoor meet­ings through electronic means only during that time.

Back on December 23, 2020, Governor Whitmer signed Public Act 254 of...

February 8, 2021

The State School Aid Act requires two student count days each school year to determine the school’s amount of state aid. Those student count days are the first Wednesday in October and the second Wednesday in February. Student membership count for each school year is based on students in attendance on count day (which occurs in October of the current school year) and students in attendance on a supplemental count day (which occurs in February of the preceding school year). This year’s spring...

January 28, 2021

On December 16, 2020, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) updated its FAQs about various equal employment opportunity laws and COVID-19. The guidance is available at:

https://www.eeoc.gov/wysk/what-you-should-know-about-covid-19-and-ada-rehabilitation-act-and-other-eeo-laws.

The FAQs address questions about COVID-19...

January 25, 2021

Rising COVID-19 case numbers have caused many Michigan schools to return to remote learning and vir­tual instruction. Although virtual instruction differs from face-to-face instruction, FERPA and Michigan’s student privacy laws still require schools to protect a student’s personally identifiable information.

Using a videoconferencing platform (e.g., Zoom, Google Hangouts, Microsoft Teams) for virtual instruc­tion does not, by itself, violate FERPA. School officials should, however, be...

January 18, 2021

Thrun Law Firm is offering a free virtual half-hour lunch webinar series for its retainer clients. From 12:15 pm – 12:45 pm on the second Thursday of each month, our Title IX practice group will delve into a specific topic related to the sweeping and, often confus­ing, new Title IX regulations. This series, which is intended to help school officials implement the new regulations in a practical way, will include the following topics:

  • The interplay between Title IX and Michigan’s...
January 11, 2021

As school officials evaluate their school’s present and future real property needs, the potential for prop­erty sales may arise. This article addresses frequently asked questions we receive about selling real estate.

  1. Is a school authorized to sell property?

Yes. The Revised School Code provides schools with broad authority to dispose of and convey property to public and private entities. Any...

January 4, 2021

Thrun Law Firm is pleased to announce that Ryan Murray has joined our firm as our newest associate attorney.

Ryan holds an undergraduate degree in Interdisciplinary Studies in Political Science and a Michigan Teaching Certification from Michigan State University (B.A., 2006), a Master of Education degree in Education Administration from Concordia University (M.S., 2013), and a law degree from the Michigan State University College of Law (J.D., 2020, magna cum laude).

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December 28, 2020

It is difficult to say farewell to our colleague and friend Robert Huber, who is retiring from Thrun Law Firm at the end of 2020. Robert’s exemplary service over the past 26 years cannot be overstated and will leave a lasting and positive impact on Michigan schools. Robert’s personable and engaging nature, extensive le­gal knowledge, and exceptional dedication to clients have all been hallmarks of his practice and his time with Thrun Law Firm.

Robert earned his undergraduate degree...

December 21, 2020

Schools that issued tax credit bonds before December 22, 2017 must annually complete and file Form 1097-BTC with the IRS. For tax year 2020, Form 1097-BTC must be filed by mail by March 1, 2021, or filed electronically by March 31, 2021.

Tax credit bonds differ from conventional school bonds because the bond purchaser receives a tax credit in lieu of, or in addition to, periodic interest payments. For schools, tax credit bonds were typically issued as either a Qualified School...

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