A Capehart Scatchard Blog

Appellate Division Remands Case on Disclosure of Student Records Under OPRA

By on October 17, 2017 in Open Public Records Act with 0 Comments

When is a student record, such as a settlement agreement involving a special education student or a request for an independent special education evaluation, subject to disclosure in response to a request under the Open Public Records Act (“OPRA”)? According to the Appellate Division’s published decision dated October 16, 2017 in L.R. v. Camden City Public School District, et al., the answer is that disclosure is permitted when the requestor is one of the sixteen (16) authorized organizations, agencies, or persons identified in regulations adopted by the New Jersey Department of Education to implement the New Jersey Pupil Records Act […]

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Commissioner of Education Upholds Violations of School Ethics Act

By on October 10, 2017 in School Ethics Act with 0 Comments

On September 11, 2017, the New Jersey Commissioner of Education (“Commissioner”) affirmed six decisions by the New Jersey School Ethics Commission (“SEC”) that various board of education members violated the School Ethics Act for failing to timely complete school board member training. These board members received penalties ranging from suspensions to reprimands. N.J.S.A. 18A:12-33 of the School Ethics Act requires, in relevant part, the following for members of a board of education or charter school board of trustees: (a) Each newly elected or appointed board member shall complete during the first year of the member’s first term a training program…regarding […]

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Upcoming Seminar at NJSBA Annual Conference

By on October 9, 2017 in Seminars, Students with 0 Comments

On Thursday, October 26, 2017, Sanmathi (Sanu) Dev, Esq. and Cameron R. Morgan, Esq. will be presenting at the New Jersey School Boards Association’s Annual Conference in Atlantic City, New Jersey. They will be speaking about legal issues pertaining to student residency and homelessness. For additional information and registration, please click here.

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District Court Addresses Issue Involving Waiver for Enrollment in Honors/AP Classes

By on September 26, 2017 in Special Education/504 with 0 Comments

The North Valley Regional High School District had a policy in which students could enroll in Honors or Advanced Placement classes by obtaining a teacher’s recommendation. Without a recommendation, a student could “waive” into such a class if the student and parents sign a document stating that they understand the requirements and demands of the course and that no accommodations would be made. Two parents of learning disabled students sued North Valley in federal court seeking injunctive relief. They claimed that the policy discriminated against the students in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. On September 6, 2017, the […]

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Upcoming Seminar: “Do’s and Don’ts of Special Education Law”

By on September 19, 2017 in Seminars, Special Education/504 with 0 Comments

On Wednesday, October 18, 2017, Joseph Betley, Esq. and Sanmathi (Sanu) Dev, Esq. will be presenting at the New Jersey Charter School Conference in Newark.  Their presentation is entitled, “Do’s and Don’ts of Special Education Law.” For more information, please click here.

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Appellate Division Rules Against Charter Schools In Funding Issue

By on September 19, 2017 in Other with 0 Comments

Four charter schools located in Jersey City challenged the level of funding they received from the local board of education under the School Funding Reform Act of 2008 (“SFRA”) as inadequate for their students to receive a thorough and efficient education in violation of the New Jersey Constitution. In an unpublished decision issued on September 14, 2017, the New Jersey Appellate Division denied the charter schools’ challenge and upheld the current funding mechanism in Learning Community Charter School v. Jersey City Board of Education. Charter schools are public schools that operate under a charter granted by the Commissioner of Education […]

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Stay-Put Shake-up: Third Circuit Holds Parents Entitled to Attorneys’ Fees for Non-Compliance with Stay-Put

By on August 30, 2017 in Special Education/504 with 0 Comments

By: Cameron R. Morgan, Esq. Editor: Sanmathi (Sanu) Dev, Esq. The Third Circuit Court of Appeals has issued an important decision finding that parents in special education litigation with school districts will be considered “prevailing parties” entitled to an award of attorneys’ fees in the event the district ignores or fails to comply with its obligations under the “stay-put” provision of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (“IDEA”).  M.R. & J.R. ex. E.R. v. Ridley Sch. Dist., No. 16-2465, 117 L.R.P. 34473 (3d Cir. 2017).  On August 22, 2017, the Third Circuit issued its decision substantially altering the landscape of […]

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A Reminder from the Appellate Division on RIFs and Tenured Employees

By on August 22, 2017 in Labor & Employment with 0 Comments

On August 17, 2017, the New Jersey Appellate Division issued an unpublished opinion in which it upheld the Atlantic City Board of Education’s (“Board”) decision to change the employment of two supervisors from twelve-month positions to ten-month positions due to a reduction in force (“RIF”). This case highlights an important interplay between RIFs and tenure rights of public school employees. The Board employed Lourdes Vidal-Turner and C. Dedra Williams (“Petitioners”) as teachers for numerous years. The Board then promoted each of them to a twelve-month supervisory position in which they later acquired tenured. The State Appointed Fiscal Monitor for the […]

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Atlantic County and Bridgewater Township Required to Continue Step Increases After Expiration of Contracts

By on August 4, 2017 in Labor & Employment with 0 Comments

By: Robert A. Muccilli, Esq. Editor: Sanmathi (Sanu) Dev, Esq. The New Jersey Supreme Court on August 3, 2017 decided In re County of Atlantic in which it held that the salary increment systems in collective bargaining agreements between two public entities, Atlantic County and the Township of Bridgewater, and their respective FOP and PBA unions remained in effect after the agreements’ expiration dates. The County and Township were required to pay salary step increases during the period between the expiration of those contracts and the formation of their successor agreements. Accordingly, the Court upheld the Appellate Division’s ruling in […]

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Governor Signs Law Expanding Voting Rights for Sending School Districts

By on July 25, 2017 in Legislation with 0 Comments

By: Robert A. Muccilli, Esq. Editor: Sanmathi (Sanu) Dev, Esq. For years, sending school districts have felt left out of many important decisions made by the receiving districts to which they send their students and to which they pay tuition. That will no longer be the case under a new law signed by Governor Christie on July 21, 2017 (S. Res. 3191, 217th Leg., 2d Sess. (N.J. 2017)) which greatly expands the voting rights of sending districts. Representative of sending districts are no longer limited to voting on tuition, certain bill lists or contracts, new capital construction to be utilized by […]

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