The principal’s quick reference guide to school law

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  • 1. The Principal’s Quick Reference Guide to School Law The School and The Legal Environment: Chapter 2
  • 2. Purpose of Chapter 2
    • Review legal processes of our country.
    • Reminder of the foundations of our legal system.
    • Identify issues that affect education most often.
  • 3. Section A: School’s Relationship to the Legal Environment
    • School must primarily be a safe place that observes the rights of individuals.
  • 4. Basic Principals of the Legal System
    • Protect Rights
    • Law
    • Separate Systems
      • Federal
      • State and Local
    • Law Interpretation
    • Due Process
    • Consent of Governed
  • 5. Types of Law
    • Constitutional Law
      • Broad Philosophical Statements of General Belief
      • “the powers not delegated to the US by the Constitution nor prohibited by it to the states are reserved to the states respectively”
  • 6. Types of Law
    • Common Law
      • Statute not yet been established by courts
    • Statutory and Administrative Law
      • Statutory Law adds to or alters Common Law
      • Administrative Law is designed by administrative agencies. Not a legislative body or court.
  • 7. How Laws Are Made and Enforced
    • Legislative Branch of Government
      • Making Laws
    • Executive Branch of Government
      • Enforces Law
      • Attorney General is most associated with Education
    • Judicial Branch of Government
      • Interpret laws and settle disputes
  • 8. Judicial System
    • Each state has two court systems:
    • Federal Court System
      • District Courts, Special Federal Courts, Courts of Appeals, and the US Supreme Court.
    • State Court System
  • 9. Courts
    • Original Jurisdiction
      • Court that hears a case for the first time.
    • Appellate Jurisdiction
      • Court that hears a case on appeal.
    • US Supreme Court
      • Created directly by the Constitution
      • One Chief Justice and Eight Associate Justices
      • “Court of Last Resort”
  • 10. Court Functions
    • Deciding Controversies
    • Interpretation of Enacted Law
    • Judicial Review
  • 11. Interpretation of Enacted Laws
    • Literal
    • Purposive
    • Precedent Based
    • Policy Based
  • 12. Clauses and Amendments of Educational Interest General Welfare, Amendments and Articles
  • 13. General Welfare Clause
    • Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution
      • Congress has the power to “lay and collect taxes, duties, imports and exercises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States”
    • This clause is often used as rationale for legislation that affects the operation of public schools.
  • 14. First Amendment
    • Funds to nonpublic schools
    • Freedom of speech – student and teacher
    • Separation of church and state
  • 15. Fourth Amendment
    • Litigation surrounding the searching of students’ lockers and belongings
    Illegal Search and Seizure
  • 16. Fourteenth Amendment
    • No state shall “deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the law”
    • Due Process
    • Race and gender cases
    • Claims of wrongful discharge
  • 17. Landmark Supreme Court Rulings That Affect Education Practice
  • 18. Desegregation
    • Plessy v Ferguson (1896) “separate but equal”
    • Reality: separate but unequal
    • Brown v Board of Education of Topeka (1954) and (1955)
    • Segregation was not equal.
    • Move toward desegregation.
    • Noncompliance remained.
  • 19. Desegregation Continued
    • Virginia repealed its compulsory attendance laws, making attendance a matter of local option.
    • Griffin v County School Board of Prince Edward County (1964)
    • Forced the county to levy taxes and open a public school
  • 20. Desegregation again
    • Cases continue:
    • Milliken v Bradley (1974)
    • Oklahoma Public Schools v Dowell (1991)
    • Freeman v Pitts (1992)
    • Missouri v Jenkins (1995)
    • All cases from the 1990s deal with reducing federal oversight of desegregation
  • 21. School Finance
    • San Antonio Independent School District v Rodriguez (1973)
    • a. Education not guaranteed by the Constitution
    • b. Disadvantages resulting from wealth distribution – Doesn’t have to be uniform
  • 22. School Finance
    • Serrano v Priest (1971)
    • - California state Supreme Court held that quality of education could not be happenstance of residence.
    • - Serrano ruling held until Rodriquez ruling
  • 23. School Finance
    • Between 1972 and 1989, state school finance cases were bitter battles over equality of fiscal inputs.
    • Rose v Council for Better Education, Inc. (1989)
    • -Found that education in poorer local schools was not as thorough
  • 24. School Finance
    • Rose v Council for Better Education (1989) was a decision that held for many years.
    • Subsequent litigation in school finance have gone back and forth.
  • 25. Student and Teacher Rights
    • Pickering v Board of Education of Township High School District 205 (1968)
    • - Teachers’ exercise of their right to speak out on issues of public concern cannot be used as the basis for dismissal.
  • 26. Student and Teacher Rights
    • Mount Healthy City School District Board of Education v Doyle (1977)
    • - Even if a teacher’s expression is constitutionally protected, school officials are not precluded from disciplining or discharging the employee if sufficient cause exists independent of the protected speech.
  • 27. Student and Teacher Rights
    • Givham v Western Line Consolidated School District (1979)
    • - As long as a teacher’s expression pertains to matters of public concern instead of personal grievances, statements made are constitutionally protected.
  • 28. Student and Teacher Rights
    • Board of Regents of State Colleges v Roth (1972)
    • - A school district is not required to establish cause for nonrenewal of a probationary teacher’s contract.
  • 29. Special Education
    • Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
    • - Children who qualify have a right to a free, appropriate, public education, including special education and related services, in the least restrictive environment.
  • 30. Church and State
    • Lemon v Kurtzman (1971)
    • - Governmental action must have a secular purpose, must have a primary effect that neither advances nor impedes religion, and must avoid excessive governmental entanglement with religion.
  • 31. Church and State
    • Other issues:
    • Prayer in schools
    • Government funding for religious schools
    • Voucher programs
  • 32. Title IX (1972)
    • Prohibit an education program or activity that receives federal funds from denying any individual admission to, participation in, or the benefits of any academic, extracurricular, research, occupational training, aid, service, or other education program or activity on the basis of gender.
  • 33. Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (1972)
    • FERPA requires educational agencies and institutions to provide parents with all educational records of their child.
    • Much, much more in chapter 9.
  • 34. The Family and Medical Leave Act (1993)
    • Provides qualifying employee with up to 12 work weeks of unpaid leave in any 12-month period.
    • Reasons:
    • Birth of Child
    • Placement of Child for adoption
    • Care of Spouse, Child, or Parent
    • Serious Injury of Employee
  • 35. The Family and Medical Leave Act (1993)
    • Special Conditions Apply:
      • Return to same job or job of equal pay
      • Must have worked for employer for the previous 12 months
  • 36. Workers’ Compensation
    • Workers’ compensation insurance is mandated by all states except Texas.
    • Workers’ compensation benefits are for employees who suffer occupational injuries or other covered ailments including payment for medical treatment, rehabilitation, and time away from work.
  • 37. School Choice
    • Family Choice
    • Interdistrict Transfer
    • Specialized School Choice
    • Charter Schools
    • No Child Left Behind Schools
  • 38. Charter Schools
    • State-sponsored schools created by charter.
    • Usual goal is to improve education for at-risk students.
    • Less restrictive requirements
    • Greater funding freedom
    • Majority in Florida, Michigan, California
  • 39. Vouchers
    • Essentially allow parents to spend their education dollars where they see fit.
    • Problems:
    • Religious Schools
    • Unequal Funds
    • Benefits???
    • Results???
  • 40. Vouchers
    • Florida was one of the first to allow vouchers.
    • Unexpectedly low use.
    • Opposition
    • Currently in use in Washington D.C.
    • Questions of Choice Schools and Vouchers continue