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Posts tagged as “legal”

Ohio Supreme Court justices dismiss school choice lawsuit

WSYX/WTTE Columbus |

The Ohio Supreme Court dismissed Citizens for Community Values v DeWine, a legal challenge to legislation freezing EdChoice scholarship enrollment passed in January 2020.

The suit, Citizens for Community Values vs. DeWine et al., was meant to preserve the rights of thousands of Ohio schoolchildren in poorer-performing school districts to choose their preferred school and have the tuition subsidized by their home district, up to $4,650 – $6,000 per student. However, in the 2020-2021 school year, the number of schools deemed “poor” on the state report card more than doubled, from 517 in 2019 to more than 1,200 in the current year.

Public schools were in uproar over the potential budget hit, including many that had not previously been required to participate in EdChoice.

In late January, the Ohio legislature and Governor passed Senate Bill 120 to “freeze” the program at just 517 eligible schools — but did not include “emergency” language in the bill. As such, the freeze should not have legally taken effect until April or May, according to Citizens for Community Values, and EdChoice applications and processing should have begun as expected on February 1st. However, the Ohio Department of Education did not process any applications.

“ODE is violating the law by refusing to receive, process, and award EdChoice Scholarships,” the lawsuit stated, asking for an order from the Supreme Court to spur ODE to act.

Later in the spring an emergency coronavirus relief bill HB 197, accomplishing much the same on EdChoice as SB 120, was passed and signed into law.

On Thursday, the Ohio Supreme Court found that due to HB 197 the Citizens for Community Values’ point was no longer relevant and dismissed the lawsuit.

Read the full court opinion.

Union sues Oregon City Schools over staff reductions

Toledo Blade |

The Ohio Association of Public School Employees and 26 Oregon City Schools employees contend in the lawsuit filed Friday in Lucas County Common Pleas Court that the reductions were not financially necessary and that the school board acted illegally by making the cuts during a meeting that violated state transparency laws.

Remembering Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a pioneer in the women’s rights movement and the second woman appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court, died Friday at age 87 due to complications of pancreatic cancer.

On education issues arising during her 27 years on the court, Ginsburg was a stalwart vote for sex equity in schools, expansive desegregation remedies, strict separation of church and state, and, in a memorable dissent, against broader drug testing of students.


FFCRA leave guidance changes now effective

FFCRA leave guidance changes now effective
Ennis Britton Law Blog |

A lawsuit challenging the Department of Labor (DoL) FFCRA leave guidance was filed in April 2020 by the New York Attorney General. (New York v. U.S. Dep’t of Labor, No. 20-CV-3020 (JPO), 2020 WL 4462260 (S.D.N.Y. Aug. 3, 2020) The decision of the federal district court invalidated four sections of the DoL regulations.

DoL has clarified and expanded upon its interpretation on intermittent leave. An ongoing question for public schools has been how to administer the use of EFMLEA leave for child care when the employee’s child(ren) are on a hybrid schedule, attending in person and remotely from week to week or day to day. Updated regulations clarify that EFMLEA child care leave for parents whose students are on hybrid programs is not considered intermittent leave.

Administering EPSLA and EFMLEA child care leave has been challenging. DoL’s interpretations and positions continue to evolve. These regulations clarify some of the questions we have been getting, although additional questions remain.

Read more about the invalidated regulations and the new guidance issued by DoL on the Ennis Britton Law Blog

Court awards funds to three Ohio school districts

Toledo Blade and WDTN Dayton |

Judge Gina R. Russo of the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas ruled on Sept. 10 that the Toledo, Cleveland, and Dayton school districts were unlawfully deprived of funding by ODE.

The underpayment to the districts stems from ODE’s decision in 2005 to substitute a funding methodology that differed from the one specified by state law.

Parents sue health department director Lance Himes over K-12 school mask mandate

Cincinnati Enquirer |

More than two dozen parents have sued Ohio’s health director over the state’s mask mandate for children in schools.

A complaint, filed last week in Putnam County Common Pleas Court, argues a state-imposed mask requirement infringes on parents’ religious beliefs and ability to rear their children as they wish. Attorneys for the parents, which include a Cincinnati-area mom, also say mask mandates have become a political issue, and forcing children to wear masks is forcing them to make a political statement.


Ohio AG files brief in support of school districts letting employees go armed

Ohio Capital Journal |

Ohio’s Attorney General Dave Yost this week put his support behind a Butler County school district’s policy to arm school personnel.

“This case presents the question whether school districts may allow non-security employees to carry firearms on school grounds,” Yost wrote in a brief to the court. “The answer is yes.”

Yost filed the brief as an interested party in the case of Gabbard v. Madison Local School District Board of Education, a case in which parents at the school sued to keep the school from implementing such a policy.

Injunction Seeking to Prevent Implementation of Title IX Regulations Denied

Ennis Britton Law Blog |

In general, Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in schools. It is often used in sexual harassment claims of students involving teacher-on-student harassment or student-on-student harassment. 

The new Title IX regulations became effective on August 14, 2020. Districts should have adopted a revised Title IX policy to comply with the new regulations. In addition, it is recommended that all K-12 employees be trained on the new Title IX regulations because a school district will be presumed to have actual knowledge of sexual harassment if any employee has knowledge of such conduct.