Along with several high-profile cases, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision in Kennedy v. Bremerton School District on June 27, 2022.  2022 WL 2295034.  Kennedy involved the interplay between a government’s duties under the Establishment Clause and an employee’s right to free speech and free exercise of religion. Facts Kennedy is a devote Christian…

Already during the 2021-2022 school year, students’ return to regular in-person instruction from hybrid and virtual instructional programming seems to have increased the incidence of student misconduct leading to expulsion.  As a result, we are using this Legal Update to provide a refresher on some of the necessary student expulsion procedures for school district administrators…

With the calendar turning to August, school districts across Wisconsin are gearing up for another school year impacted by COVID-19.  The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) caused a stir at the end of July when it issued new guidance recommending that students return to fully in-person learning this Fall and that all students, staff, and…

Much of the media coverage and discussion of President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) has focused on stimulus checks and employee paid-leave provisions.  However, ARPA also included several other significant provisions that affect public school districts and their special education programs.  ARPA allocated nearly $123 billion to a new Elementary and Secondary Schools…

School districts across Wisconsin have adopted new or modified existing modes of instruction to address the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.  For instance, many school districts now offer virtual options that did not exist at the start of 2020.  Even though the 2020-2021 school year is not half over, a critical deadline looms for the…

School districts across Wisconsin are contemplating how to begin school for the 2020-2021 school year with the current public health emergency caused by COVID-19. There are essential questions that school districts must answer concerning special education once the district determines whether to start school entirely virtual, entirely in-person, or with a hybrid model that blends…

On June 15, 2020, the United States Supreme Court (“Court”) decided three (3) cases filed under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”) alleging sex discrimination based on the employees’ sexual orientation or transgender status. Bostock v. Clayton Cty., Georgia, No. 17-1618, 2020 WL 3146686. The Court concluded that discrimination because an…

On May 29, 2020, the Department of Public Instruction (“DPI”) issued new guidance on how school districts must address the impact of the extended school closures due to COVID-19 on students with disabilities. The new guidance refers to the services provided by school districts to address students’ lack of access to special education and related…

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) initially ordered all public and private schools closed from March 18, 2020, through April 6, 2020, due to the health emergency caused by COVID-19. DHS extended the school closures on March 17, 2020, for the “duration of the health emergency or until a subsequent order lifts this specific…