News from Thrun Law

December 17, 2020

After an initial announcement several years ago and several subsequent delays, the Enhanced 911 (E911) requirements adopted by the Michigan Legisla­ture in the Emergency 911 Service Enabling Act, with some exceptions, take effect on December 31, 2020. The E911 requirements apply to any multi-line tele­phone system (MLTS), which is as system comprised of com­mon control unit(s), telephone sets with unique telephone numbers, and control hardware and soft­ware. A school building will often use...

December 14, 2020

If your school has outstanding bonds, it may have entered into a “continuing disclosure agreement” that requires the school to submit certain “continuing disclosure” documents annually to the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board’s Electronic Municipal Market Access System (EMMA), including the school’s audit and updated key financial and operating information.

If your school entered into a continuing disclosure agreement as part of a bond transaction and the bonds are still...

December 7, 2020

On October 14, 2020, MIOSHA released Emergency Rules for COVID-19, which require employers to enact a policy “prohibiting in-person work for employees to the extent that their work activities can feasibly be completed remotely.” MIOSHA further clarified this policy requirement in an FAQ, stating:

MIOSHA will accept a written policy which indicates that employees are not to perform in-person work ac­tivities where the work activity can be feasibly be...

November 30, 2020

In last month’s edition of School Law Notes, we reviewed the importance of filing the Municipal Fi­nance Qualifying Statement form with the Michigan De­partment of Treasury by December 31 each year. A successful Qualifying Statement submission gives a school “qualified status” for the upcoming year. Obtain­ing qualified status allows schools to issue most types of municipal obligations (bonds, state aid notes, and tax notes) without the delay of applying for Treasury pre-approval...

November 23, 2020

For a school that wants to borrow money, obtaining “qualified status” each year from the Michigan Department of Treasury is critical. Before a school issues most types of debt, it must either have qualified status or Treasury’s prior approval.

The costlier and more time-consuming prior approval process often causes significant delays, which can be a hurdle if the need to borrow is unexpected. Treasury has up to 30 business days (i.e., six calendar weeks) to evaluate a prior approval...

November 16, 2020

As noted in the previous article, on September 28, 2020, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights provided guidance on face-covering require­ments for students with disabilities. On October 20, 2020, State Superintendent Michael Rice issued a mem­orandum consistent with OCR’s guidance. School offi­cials should understand the scope of both guidance documents.

Neither OCR’s guidance nor Dr. Rice’s memoran­dum prohibit schools from requesting medical verifica­tion...

November 9, 2020

On September 28, 2020, the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) issued two Q&A guidance docu­ments on commonly asked special education and Section 504 questions in light of COVID-19.

Implementation of IDEA Part B Provision of Services in the COVID-19 Environment” reminds state educational agencies (SEAs) and local educational agencies (LEAs) that “no matter...

October 30, 2020

On September 30, 2020, Governor Whitmer signed into law Public Act 165, amending the State School Aid Act (SSAA). Our Sep­tember 30, 2020 E-Blast explained certain urgent aspects of this leg­islation. This article discusses other important provisions of PA 165, including additional funding for increased enrollment, local produce purchasing, student meal debt, teacher retention, and funding to create a “Michigan Learning Channel.”

Increased Enrollment

New SSAA Section...

October 26, 2020

Revised School Code Section 1613 allows a school district or ISD to authorize 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 2021, your district’s board of education must adopt a resolution and file a copy of that resolu­tion with each city and township within your district’s boundaries on or before December 31, 2020...

October 19, 2020

In our June 25, 2020 School Law Notes, we addressed the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) “Letter of Impending Enforcement Action” issued against the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC). In that letter, OCR deter­mined that CIAC’s policy of allowing transgender stu­dents who were “biologically male” to compete on female athletic teams and in female athletic events violated Title IX by discriminating against women.

In those same...

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