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Monday, November 19, 2012

EducationAdmin WebAdvisor: Education Administration Headlines + More!

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Issue 14 · November 19, 2012
Financial Aid "Shopping Sheet" Lets Students Compare College Offers
More than 500 colleges and universities have already committed to adopting a "Shopping Sheet" as part of a standardized award letter that will facilitate the comparison of financial aid packages offered by different schools.

Differential College Tuition Based on Major Gaining Traction in Florida
Students who pursue majors in the types of disciplines needed by Florida's employers -- like science and engineering -- will pay lower tuition than their fellow students in low-demand career fields if this novel idea is adopted.

Student Loan Forgiveness or Cancellation for Hard-to-Find Teachers
To attract qualified teachers to underserved areas or segments of the teaching profession, the Department of Education is offering financial incentives in the form of student loan forgiveness and cancellation. Q&As shed light on teacher eligibility and related matters.

Teaching "Soft Skills" for Student Workforce Readiness
A lot of young people enter the workforce without certain behavioral competencies -- like good diction, enthusiasm, and a positive attitude. A set of six short videos helps educators, employers, and others teach the "soft skills" that young workers will need to succeed.

Student Loan Repayment and Discharge Relief Is Approved
New changes to federal student loan programs, including "Pay as You Earn," will assist student borrowers in successfully repaying their loans.

Expert Online Briefings for School Leaders
Just Click to Register!
How to Develop an Effective Performance Improvement Plan in the School Environment, Step-by-Step
Wednesday, November 28, 2012, 1 PM Eastern

A PIP is an effective way to help school employees turn around performance problems. It also documents school leadership's efforts to guide an employee who is performing poorly should discipline or removal eventually become necessary. An education law expert will explain how to draft a PIP and monitor its compliance.
FMLA Compliance: Special Rules for Schools
Wednesday, December 5, 2012, 1 PM Eastern

The Family and Medical Leave Act includes tailored requirements for teachers and instructional employees, who generally don't work year-round and whose workdays may include both paid and unpaid time. Failing to apply the FMLA correctly creates substantial legal and compliance risks for schools and school districts.
Special Education and Disability Laws: Understanding K-12 Compliance Requirements
Thursday, December 6, 2012 @ 1 PM Eastern

ADA, ADAAA, RA, IDEA -- these laws establishment the legal framework for special education in elementary and secondary schools. Learn what they require and how they intertwine, and get updates on recent changes that affect your obligations.
Student Discipline: Understanding the Many Complicated Constitutional and Statutory Requirements
Wednesday, December 12, 2012 @ 1 PM Eastern

Disciplining students, especially those who have disabilities, has all sorts of constitutional, statutory, and legal ramifications. You can control your legal risks if you have the basic facts about due process, the right to a public education, and compliance with federal and state laws when imposing discipline to manage student behavior.
Managing Disabilities in the College and University Setting: How ADAAA Requirements Affect Section 504
Wednesday, January 16, 2013 @ 1 PM Eastern

You have expansive responsibilities to identify, accommodate, and protect students with disabilities, including those with medical and psychiatric disabilities. Learn from an education law expert what the laws and regulations require of higher education institutions.

Staff Diversity in Schools and Universities: How to Embrace the Concept to Improve the Quality of Education
Thursday, January 17, 2013 @ 1 PM Eastern

An inclusive workplace sparks innovation, creativity, and intellectual reach. Learn how to establish a staff and faculty diversity management program that takes your institution to a whole new level.

Student Athletics in Secondary Schools: Practical and Legal Issues
Thursday, January 17, 2013 @ 1 PM Eastern

Aside from their manifest benefits, secondary school athletics involve risks and liabilities. This webinar will cover athlete injuries, liability issues, Title IX, sexual abuse, traumatic head injuries, waivers and informed consent forms, and how to deal with it all.

School Bullying: How to Build a Bully-Free Campus and Staff
Thursday, January 24, 2013 @ 1 PM Eastern

About one-third of students are bullied each year, and even adults can be bullied in a school setting (remember the school bus monitor who was brought to tears by her young tormentors). This briefing will examine the nature of bullying and describe the steps that visionary schools are taking to become no-bully zones.

The Use of Social Media by Schools, Students, and Staff: Know the Risks and How to Reduce Your Potential Liability
Tuesday, January 29, 2013 @ 1 PM Eastern

Social media has infiltrated schools at all levels, and its implications range from screening employees to disciplining students, from privacy to bullying, from staff communications to free speech. Let an attorney familiar with social media law help you mitigate these new risks.

Childhood Immunizations: Strategies for Overcoming Growing Parental Reluctance and Maintaining Public Health
Thursday, February 14, 2013 @ 1 PM Eastern

The public health success of childhood vaccination has fostered complacency in some parents; others believe the risks outweigh the benefits. School nurses should be empowered to become "immunization champions," educating parents and helping maintain high vaccination coverage rates to promote a healthy school environment for all. This webinar is recommended for both administrators and school health personnel.

Did You Miss Something?
Webinars Are Now Accessible on CD!
What if you have a time conflict and can't participate in a webinar of interest on its scheduled date and time? Don't worry. You can still take advantage of our CD option. Soon after completion of each webinar, the program will be available on CD. Click here for the complete listing and future ordering information.
Education in the Courts
Book Club Bonus Points Misappropriated
A middle school teacher has learned a hard lesson about sharing. The teacher, with more than 20 years of service with the Lakeside School District in Arkansas, was terminated after a dispute escalated over who was entitled to the bonus points awarded for purchases made from the Scholastic Book Club.
The money used for the book purchases came from a combination of sources: school funds, money from students and other teachers, and money from the teacher herself. The teacher, in whose name the account was held, placed the orders and received bonus points for the purchases, which she redeemed for a variety of goodies including a DVD player, two 27-inch television sets, and a microwave oven. The only problem was that the teacher laid personal claim to the items.
When the first of the items, the DVD player, arrived at the school, the principal questioned the teacher about its instructional purpose, to which the teacher replied that the player and other items were for her personal use because the bonus points were earned on her account. The principal asked the superintendent how to handle the matter, who told the principal to inform the teacher that, because the bonus points were earned from money that came from the students and the school district, the items did not belong to her and the order must be cancelled.
The teacher objected, reportedly refusing to cancel the order and telling the principal that the superintendent was "full of crap" and that "this school sucks." The dispute continued, with other parties overhearing heated exchanges between the teacher and principal. The dispute ended up before the superintendent, who concluded that, in addition to using school resources for personal gain, the teacher had been disrespectful, sarcastic, and untruthful when questioned about the situation.
The superintendent terminated the teacher for, among other things, violating the school district's personnel policy manual, which states that "[s]upplies and materials purchased with school funds, or for which the teacher is reimbursed with school funds, are school property, and should remain on school property."
The teacher appealed her dismissal all the way through the school district and to the courts. She lost each step of the way, including when the case was heard by the Arkansas Court of Appeals. That court concluded that the school district had satisfied the requirements of the Arkansas Teacher Fair Dismissal Act. One of the teacher's arguments was that the school district had no written personnel policies specifically addressing the use of bonus points. However, the appeals court ruled that, "Appellant's argument that the school district was required to include a written policy about such a minor topic as bonus points in its personnel manual is not persuasive."
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In This Issue
· Education administration, innovation, and compliance news & issues

Expert Online Briefings for School Leaders
· School employee performance improvement plans
· FMLA special rules for schools
· K-12 special education and disability laws overview
· Student discipline: constitutional and statutory foundation
· ADAAA compliance in higher education
· Staff and faculty diversity management plan
· Student athletics in secondary schools
· Bully-free campus and staff
· Social media risks in education
· Childhood immunizations when parents balk
Education in the Courts
· Teacher's personal use of book club bonus points
What Counts
Education by the Numbers
· In fall 2012, more than 49.8 million students attend public elementary and secondary schools in the United States. Of these, 35.1 million are in pre-kindergarten through 8th grade, and 14.8 million are in grades 9 through 12. An additional 5.3 million students attend private schools.
· Public school systems employ about 3.3 million full-time-equivalent (FTE) teachers in 2012, with a pupil-teacher ratio of 15.2 to 1. This ratio is smaller than the 2000 ratio of 16 to 1.
· Private school FTE teachers number about 0.4 million in 2012. The pupil-teacher ratio is 12.3 to 1, down from a ratio of 14.5 to 1 in 2000.
-- Department of Education National Center for Education Statistics

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