A Capehart Scatchard Blog

Appellate Division Upholds Findings of School Ethics Violations

By on May 24, 2017 in School Ethics Act with 0 Comments

On May 22, 2017, the New Jersey Appellate Division in Lowell v. Smallwood affirmed the Commissioner of Education’s decision that a board of education member violated various provisions of the School Ethics Act (“Act”) for her dealings with a potential candidate for superintendent. Specifically, the board member violated N.J.S.A. 18A:12-24.1(c) and (e) for acting beyond the scope of her authority and making personal promises. Felicia Simmons, Geneva Smallwood, and Corey Lowell were members of the Asbury Park Board of Education (“Board”). Lowell initiated a complaint with the School Ethics Commission (“SEC”) asserting that Simmons and Smallwood violated the Act. Lowell […]

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Appellate Division Approves Dual Send-Receive Relationship

By on May 9, 2017 in Students with 0 Comments

In an unpublished decision issued on May 4, 2017, the New Jersey Appellate Division affirmed the final agency decision of the Commissioner of Education (“Commissioner”) approving the send-receive relationship between the Seaside Park Board of Education (“Seaside Park”) and the Lavallette Board of Education (“Lavallette”). The decision captioned In the Matter of the Petition for Authorization to Enter into a Sending-Receiving Relationship with the Board of Education of the Borough of Lavallette, Ocean County allows Seaside Park to send its students to Lavallette while maintaining its existing send-receive agreement with the Toms River Regional Schools Board of Education (“Toms River”). […]

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School Districts Given More Flexibility in Compensating Superintendents

By on May 9, 2017 in Legislation with 0 Comments

By: Robert A. Muccilli, Esq. Editor: Sanmathi (Sanu) Dev, Esq. School boards now have more flexibility in attracting and retaining qualified and experienced superintendents as a result of changes to N.J.A.C. 6A:23A-1.2, an accountability regulation affecting compensation, which were adopted on May 1, 2017. Here are some of the important changes to N.J.A.C. 6A:23A-1.2 made by the rule adoption with respect to superintendents. The salary brackets, which are based on student enrollment, have been reduced from six brackets to three with the following caps: $147,794 (enrollment of 749 or less); $169,689 (enrollment of 750 to 2,999); and $191,584 (enrollment greater […]

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Attorney’s Fees Denied in OPRA Case for Failure to Cooperate

On April 24, 2017, the New Jersey Superior Court, Camden County, denied a plaintiff’s request for attorney’s fees under the Open Public Records Act (“OPRA”) in the case Grieco v. Borough of Haddon Heights. The Court determined that the public entity inadvertently omitted a record in response to the plaintiff’s OPRA request and that she made no attempt to cooperate with the agency to acquire the missing document prior to initiating a formal lawsuit. Heather Grieco submitted an OPRA request to the Borough of Haddon Heights (“Borough”) seeking notices to newspapers for all council meetings from November 1, 2014 to April […]

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ALJ Finds Student Entitled to Section 504 Plan for Celiac Disease

By on April 25, 2017 in Special Education/504 with 1 Comment

On March 7, 2017, an Administrative Law Judge in K.I. o/b/o K.I. v. Moorestown Township Board of Education found that the Board violated Section 504 of Rehabilitation Act of 1973 by failing to offer a Section 504 plan to address the student’s celiac disease. The ALJ held that the Board failed to offer a free appropriate public education (“FAPE”) under Section 504 when it offered an individualized healthcare plan (“IHP”) instead of a Section 504 plan to address the student’s medical condition. The student was in elementary school when she was first diagnosed with celiac disease, an autoimmune disease in […]

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Upcoming Seminar: “FBAs and BIPs: An Essential Legal Guide”

On Monday, June 19, 2017, Sanmathi (Sanu) Dev, Esq. will be presenting at the National Business Institute’s seminar entitled “FBAs and BIPs: An Essential Legal Guide.” Her presentation is called “The IDEA, FBAs and BIPs: Legal Requirements and Grey Areas.” The seminar will be held in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. For additional information and registration, please click here.

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Commissioner of Education Dismisses Cases Against Superintendent for Lack of Jurisdiction

By on April 18, 2017 in Labor & Employment with 1 Comment

On March 30, 2017, the New Jersey Commissioner of Education (“Commissioner”) in Chiodi v. Eitner affirmed an Administrative Law Judge’s (“ALJ”) decision dismissing cases brought by three teachers against Superintendent Jason Eitner of the Waterford Township Board of Education (“Board”) due to a failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. The teachers sought to revoke the Superintendent’s certificate for conduct unbecoming based on allegations of sexual harassment, age discrimination, and bullying. In short, the cases were dismissed for lack of jurisdiction. The teachers alleged that the Superintendent discriminated against them, invaded their privacy, and violated school […]

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Upcoming Seminar at NJSBA Spring School Law Forum

By on April 17, 2017 in Seminars, Students with 0 Comments

On Wednesday, June 14, 2017, Sanmathi (Sanu) Dev, Esq. and Lauren E. Tedesco, Esq. will be presenting at the New Jersey School Boards Association’s Spring School Law Forum. They will be speaking about uncommon accommodations and service animals for students in school. The seminar will be held in Monroe, New Jersey. For additional information and registration, please click here.

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Upcoming Seminar at NJASA/NJAPSA Spring Leadership Annual Conference

By on April 11, 2017 in Seminars, Students with 0 Comments

On Wednesday, May 18, 2017, Sanmathi (Sanu) Dev, Esq. and Cameron R. Morgan, Esq. will be presenting at the the New Jersey Association of School Administrators and Association of Pupil Services Administrators’ 35th Annual Spring Leadership Conference. They will be speaking about legal issues pertaining to student residency and homelessness. The seminar will be held in Atlantic City, New Jersey. For additional information and registration, please click here.

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Appellate Division Affirms Tuition Reimbursement Issue Not Subject to Arbitration

By on April 11, 2017 in Labor & Employment with 1 Comment

On March 2, 2017, the New Jersey Appellate Division issued an unpublished decision in Hillsborough Township Board of Education v. Hillsborough Township Education Association in which it affirmed the Public Employment Relations Commission’s (“PERC”) determination that an issue involving tuition reimbursement was preempted by statute and therefore not arbitrable. This case arose from employees whose requests for tuition reimbursement were denied because the courses were not related to the employees’ current or future job responsibilities pursuant to N.J.S.A. 18A:6-8.5. In 2013, four individuals employed by the Hillsborough Township Board of Education (“Board”) sought tuition reimbursement from the Board for various […]

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