News from Thrun Law

June 27, 2014

On April 22, 2014, the Michigan Court of Appeals issued an opinion affirming the Michigan Tax Tribu­nal’s decisions in Lowe’s Home Centers Inc v Township of Marquette, Docket No. 314111 (April 22, 2014) and Home Depot USA Inc v Township of Breitung, Docket No. 314301 (April 22, 2014). In both cases, the Tax Tribunal adopted the so-called “dark store” methodology of valuing “big box” stores for property tax assessments. This approach values a big box store property as if it...

June 23, 2014

 The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights has issued a “significant guidance docu­ment” on Title IX and sexual violence. A copy of the guidance can be found on the OCR website at

June 16, 2014

A Michigan Employment Relations Commission (“MERC”) Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) recently held that a school district’s decision to unilaterally change from an 80/20 contribution to a “hard cap” during the term of a collective bargaining agreement, when hard cap was included in the agreement, vio­lated the Michigan Public Employment Relations Act (“PERA”). Garden City Pub Schs, Case No. C13 K-180 (April 25, 2014).

PA 152 requires public employers to limit their...

June 4, 2014

This year marked the 28th anniversary of Thrun Law Firm's School Law Update annual spring seminars.  The seminars, which were held in Mt. Pleasant, Gaylord, Grand Rapids, Livonia and Marquette, were offered at no charge to our retainer clients.  Our attorneys provided the nearly 400 school administrators and board members who attended with the most current information available in the areas of: Labor & Employment; Finance & Elections; Tax Tribunal Issues; Special Education;...

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