Fox Rothschilds' Jeffrey Sultanik Testifies to Legislature on Teacher Strikes

By Timothy E. Gilsbach

Jeffrey T. Sultanik, chair of the Fox Rothschild Education Law Group, testified before the Pennsylvania State Education Committee regarding teacher strikes and potential solutions to the same.  During his testimony, Mr. Sultanik outlined the various problems that exist in this area under the current statutory provisions and proposed changes to the same suggested by the Pennsylvania School Board Association.  For further details, please read the text of his testimony

More confederate flag nonsense

Once again, it appears that some racial bigots attempted to cloak themselves and the confederate flag with First Amendment protection.  The courts did not let them.  Click here for the Eighth Circuit case.  Does anyone get the sad irony in all this?

Stimulus Money Flows to Pennsylvania Schools

By Timothy E. Gilsbach

Included within the federal funding provided for in the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act (ARRA) is money for public education.  It is estimated that Pennsylvania will get $2.6 billion of funding for education to be spend on IDEA programs, Title I and Title II programs and on the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund from now until September of 2011.

While the ARRA imposes limits on how the money will be spent, the legislature is responsible for allocating the funds and may do so as it deems fit, subject to the limitations included by the federal government.  It appears that at least several proposals are in the works on that front. 

In addition, Districts who receive the funds should be aware that there are various limits on how the funds can be spent.  Finally, it is important to note that charter schools, in addition to school district, will qualify for some of the funding. 

Additional updates will be posted as the process of allocating the funds moves forward.    

Pennsylvania House Considering Bill That Would Change How Special Education Funding is provided to School Districts

By Timothy E. Gilsbach

The Pennsylvania House is currently considering House Bill No. 704, that would change the way that state funding for Special Education is provided to local school districts.  Under the current approach, each district is provided funding under the assumption that sixteen percent of its students are eligible for special education.  The proposal currently before the House would change the manner in which this is calculated.

According to the Bill 704's supporters, the Bill, if passed, would base funding upon a five year average of actual student enrollment for special education for each district.  In addition, it would multiply the amount of money provided by the state to districts for special education students to 1.3 times the amount provided to regular education students. 

Bill 704 was only recently presented and, if passed, is likely to change.  Check back for further detailsas it makes its way through the legislative process. 

ADA Amendments: retroactive application will find more disabled claimants

In a case of what may be the future, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit remanded a case for further consideration of the “broad” impact of the Americans With Disability Act Amendments.

In Jenkins v. National Board of Medical Examiners, the plaintiff, a third year medical student, sought and was denied extended time on the United States Medical Licensing Exam.  Prior to then, he had, since a young student, been identified with a reading disorder and received additional time. The trial court rejected his claim under the pre-amendment ADA.  During the appeal, the Amendments took effect and the appeals court reinstated the claim.

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