News from Thrun Law

November 21, 2022

Many schools have experienced a significant increase in FOIA requests. This month’s Back to Basics article addresses some of the common FOIA questions we receive and provides guidance about responding to FOIA requests.

Reviewing Requests

School officials often ask whether they must respond to a FOIA request that appears to be a “scam” or “not legitimate.” As a public body, a school is required to respond to all FOIA requests unless the...

November 14, 2022

As reported in last month’s School Law Notes, the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) recently published the 2022-23 Pupil Accounting Manual (PAM) and a...

November 7, 2022

In September 2022, MDE’s Office of Special Education issued guidance about student disciplinary removals.

Responding to and Counting Disciplinary Removals

In this guidance, MDE reminds schools that when a special education student’s behavior...

October 31, 2022

Governor Whitmer recently signed into law Public Act 213, which adds Section 10a to the Revised School Code (RSC) and requires certain postings as described below.

Posting Requirements

Beginning January 1, 2023, RSC Section 10a states that the boards of school districts, intermediate school districts, and public school academies shall ensure that the following laws be prominently posted and maintained in specified areas of school buildings:

October 24, 2022

MDE recently published the 2022-23 Pupil Accounting Manual, which is available here. As re­ported in the August 25, 2022 edition of School Law Notes, fall count day is Wednesday, October 5, 2022. Be sure to review the updated Pupil Accounting Manual and...

October 17, 2022

In a memorandum anticipated in the coming days, MDE will announce the new competitive bid threshold. MDE adjusts this threshold annually to account for inflation as measured by the average consumer price index.

For the 2022-23 fiscal year, $28,048 is the threshold amount at which school districts, ISDs, and public school academies must competitively bid for:  (1) labor and materials for construction projects (RSC Section 1267), and (2) the purchase of supplies,...

October 10, 2022

A Michigan federal court recently dismissed a claim that a school district violated the First Amendment when it suspended a student for impersonating his teacher on Instagram and posting violent and sexual content about other teachers. Kutchinski v Freeland Comm Sch Dist, Case No. 19-13810 (ED Mich, 2022).

H.K., a Freeland High School student, created an Instagram account pretending to be his teacher. The account’s profile identified the teacher by full name, high school, and...

September 30, 2022

As reported in the July 28, 2022 edition of School Law Notes, Public Act 184 of 2022 significantly amended the Michigan Public School Employees Retirement Act (MPSER). As of July 25, 2022, retirees may return to work without earnings limitations or pension forfeitures so long as they had a bona fide termination and retired at least nine consecutive months earlier. While PA 184 may eventually help combat teacher shortages, it is important to consider the immediate impact and...

September 26, 2022

Don’t forget to get your school year off to a safe start by complying with state safety drill obligations. Below are some frequently asked questions and answers about these requirements.

Q: Which schools are required to conduct safety drills each school year?

A: Michigan’s Fire Prevention Code requires every local school district, intermediate school district, and public school academy operating any of grades K-12 to conduct fire,...

September 19, 2022

With the new school year upon us, now is a good time to review school websites and board policies for compliance with current Title IX requirements. Below are important obligations that are frequently overlooked.

Title IX Coordinator

All educational institutions receiving federal funds must have at least one employee serving as Title IX Coordinator. The Title IX Coordinator is responsible for: (1) ensuring that all employees involved in the Title IX process are trained...