School Law Bullet Archives - King, Spry, Herman, Freud & Faul, LLC

School Law Bullet

PDE Issues a Revised Basic Educational Circular (“BEC”) on Charter Schools

June 6th, 2019

Earlier this month, PDE issued its first revised BEC on charter schools since 2004.

Commonwealth Court Closes Loophole on School District’s Obligation to Satisfy Charter School’s PSERS’ Obligation

February 13th, 2019

With the Pocono Mountain case, and now the Catasaqua case, Pennsylvania courts have cured a fundamental unfairness to chartering school districts forced to make up failing charter schools pension system obligations with no way of recovering that cost.

Pennsylvania Federal Court Finds that Speech Advocating School Violence is Not Protected by the First Amendment

February 1st, 2019

For the first time in Pennsylvania, a federal court has found that “speech advocating school violence is unprotected” by the First Amendment.

Commonwealth Court Supports Public Employee Privacy Rights Under the Right to Know Law

January 31st, 2019

On January 24, 2019, the Commonwealth Court held that personal information such as birthdates and places of residence for public employees should not be disclosed under the Right To Know Law. 

Pennsylvania Court Clarifies Definition of Real Property Exception to School Tort Claims Liability

January 30th, 2019

Last month, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court was asked to determine whether the absence of padding on a gym wall that a student ran into during gym class causing injury, constituted negligence in the care, custody and control of its real property, and as a result fell within the state’s real estate exemption to liability.

Department of Education Changes How They Will Respond to FERPA Complaints, but Schools Should Not Let Down Guard on FERPA Compliance

January 28th, 2019

Looking at the two purposes of FERPA – providing privacy to students for information contained in their records and providing access to students and parents to their own information – at times may be best achieved through less formal means than a formal investigation.

The Expansion of Pennsylvania Anti-Hazing Laws and its Impact on Secondary Schools and Institutions of Higher Education

January 21st, 2019

The Timothy J. Piazza Anti-Hazing Law, signed into law by Governor Tom Wolf in October of 2018, is an amendment to the Pennsylvania Crimes Code and represents a significant expansion of Pennsylvania law.  With this new legislation, Pennsylvania now has some of the strongest anti-hazing laws in the country.

Overstepping Authority? Controversial Policy on Arming School Personnel Faces Legal Challenges

December 27th, 2018

Tamaqua Area School Board Policy allowing the arming of school personnel and the use of deadly force faces serious legal challenges in lawsuit brought by teacher’s union.

Federal School Safety Commission Issues Recommendations

December 18th, 2018

The Federal School Safety Commission, created earlier this year following the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, issued a 180 page report this week with recommendations in three areas to address school violence: prevention; protection and mitigation; and response and recovery.

Commonwealth Court Steadfastly Refuses to Exempt Bus Videos Depicting Students from Disclosure Under the Right to Know Law

December 12th, 2018

On December 10, 2018, the Commonwealth Court issued a second opinion requiring the disclosure of bus videos as public records, ignoring concerns of privacy or safety.