A Capehart Scatchard Blog

Tag: administrative law

Non-Renewal Recommendation in Summative Evaluation Does Not Comply With Written Notice Requirement

By on June 28, 2022 in Labor & Employment with 0 Comments

By: Angela Reading, Law Clerk Editor: Sanmathi (Sanu) Dev, Esq. In New Jersey, spring brings critical deadlines related to renewal decisions for teachers. N.J.S.A. 18A:27-10 mandates that by May 15 of each year, the chief school administrator provide non-tenured teachers with either a new employment contract or written notice of non-renewal of the employee’s contract. If a non-tenured teacher does not receive an employment contract or written notice by the May 15 deadline, under N.J.S.A. 18A:27-11, the employee is presumed to have received an offer of employment for the upcoming school year under the same terms and conditions of employment. […]

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Appellate Division Affirms Denial of School District’s Application for Emergency Aid

By on June 14, 2022 in Other with 0 Comments

By: Erika Vasant, Law Clerk Editor: Sanmathi (Sanu) Dev, Esq. On April 18, 2022 the New Jersey Appellate Division decided the case of In the Matter of the Request for 2019-2020 Emergency Aid Submitted by the Board of Education of the North Warren Regional School District, where the court addressed the New Jersey Department of Education’s (“DOE”) decision to deny a school board’s application for emergency aid for roof repairs. The Appellate Division affirmed the Commissioner of Education’s decision that the DOE did not act unreasonably in denying the request. The North Warren Regional School District (“District”) operated only one […]

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Appellate Division Rules School Boards Must Notify Tenured Teachers of Job Consequences Prior to Voluntary Transfer to Part-Time Positions

By: Becky Batista, Law Clerk Editor: Sanmathi (Sanu) Dev, Esq. On June 6, 2022, the New Jersey Appellate Division issued a published decision in Parsells v. Board of Education of Somerville in which it decided that school boards have a duty to notify full-time teachers, in advance, of adverse job consequences before they are appointed to part-time teaching positions, even when the teacher voluntarily seeks the part-time position. In reaching this decision, the Appellate Division reviewed the holding of the New Jersey Supreme Court’s decision in Bridgewater-Raritan Education Association v. Board of Education of Bridgewater-Raritan School District. This case concerned […]

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Third Circuit Clarifies that Decisions Approving Voluntary Special Education Settlements are Appealable Under IDEA

By: Becky Batista, Law Clerk Editor: Sanmathi (Sanu) Dev, Esq. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (“IDEA”) permits any aggrieved party of an administrative finding to file an appeal in federal district court. Typically, an administrative finding is a final decision by an Administrative Law Judge on the substance and merits of an underlying due process petition brought by parents of a special education student against a public school district. On March 16, 2022, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals issued a precedential opinion in G.W. v. Ringwood Board of Education clarifying that the entry of a “Decision Approving Settlement” […]

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Court Affirms Failing to Collaborate Gives Reason to Deny Tuition Reimbursement Under the IDEA

By: Sean P. Dugan, Law ClerkEditor: Sanmathi (Sanu) Dev, Esq. On June 8, 2021, the U.S. District Court of New Jersey affirmed the ruling of an Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) in I.G. et al. v. Linden City Board of Education that the parents of a student with a disability who unilaterally placed their child in a private school were not entitled to tuition reimbursement. In Linden City, the parents of the student sought reimbursement for the private school tuition. Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (“IDEA”), a parent who does not believe that their child is being provided a […]

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Second Circuit Holds FBAs Are Not “Evaluations” for Purposes of Special Ed Parents’ Independent Evaluation Requests

By on October 13, 2020 in Special Education/504 with 0 Comments

In a precedential opinion sure to make waves in the special education community, on September 17, 2020, in D.S. v. Trumbull Board of Education, 120 L.R.P. 133 (2d Cir. 2020), the Second Circuit Court of Appeals held that functional behavioral assessments (“FBAs”) of special education students conducted by a public school district are not “evaluations” capable of triggering a parent’s right to request an independent educational evaluation (“IEE”) from the district by an outside evaluator, at public expense.  The case puts front and center an issue of first impression that has rarely been addressed in the district courts of the […]

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Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies May Not Apply to Section 504 Claims

By on September 29, 2020 in Special Education/504 with 0 Comments

On September 23, 2020, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in McIntyre v. Eugene School District that the exhaustion of administrative remedies is not required when the claims do not allege a denial of a free appropriate public education (“FAPE”) as defined by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (“IDEA”). The case involved a student with attention deficit disorder who alleged that her school district violated Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act when it did not provide her with disability-related testing accommodations and failed to follow an emergency health protocol. In the complaint, […]

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N.J. District Court Affirms Dismissal of Parent’s Special Education Case as Time-Barred

By on February 25, 2020 in Special Education/504 with 0 Comments

In a case decided on February 11, 2020 by the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, Camden Vicinage, the Eastampton School District (“District”) successfully dismissed a parent’s lawsuit brought under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (“IDEA”) on the basis that it was filed beyond the two-year statute of limitations. In McLean v. Eastampton School District, the parent of a special education student initiated a due process petition in August 2018 against the District alleging that an individualized education program (“IEP”) developed by the District in June 2016 failed to provide the student with a free […]

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N.J. Supreme Court Reverses; Refuses to Allow “Tyranny of Labels” to Compromise Analysis in Tenure Case

By on February 5, 2020 in Labor & Employment with 0 Comments

Last week, the New Jersey Supreme Court decided a teacher tenure case which it warned served as a cautionary tale that “demonstrates the ability of labels to cloud an analysis.”  Melnyk v. Bd. of Educ. of Delsea Reg’l High Sch. Dist., 241 N.J. 31 (2020).  The Delsea Regional School District (“District”) had employed the petitioner, Paula Melnyk, as a tenured special education teacher since 1991.  In 2002, the district began also employing Melnyk to work evenings as a teacher in its after-hours alternative program, in addition to her position as a special education teacher during the regular school day.  Melnyk […]

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Third Circuit Clarifies Law on Independent Evaluation Requests & Need for Disagreement with District Eval

By on December 16, 2019 in Special Education/504 with 0 Comments

Occasionally, school district child study teams (“CSTs”) are faced with special education parents who are resistant to allowing the CST to evaluate their child, yet demand independent evaluations from an outside evaluator at the school district’s expense.  In such circumstances, districts were often faced with a dilemma – either acquiesce to such demands, or file for due process themselves and incur legal fees to resist such requests, or deny the parent’s request without filing for due process and risk an Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) finding that the district committed a procedural violation.  This is because previous decisions of the Office […]

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