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Monday, January 14, 2013

Education Admin WebAdvisor Issue 17 January 14, 2013

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Issue 17 · January 14, 2013
A rundown on state legislative proposals and enacted laws that prohibit employers and educational institutions from demanding social media login information and passwords.
The new Pay As You Earn repayment plan became effective on December 21, 2012. It gives low-earning student loan borrowers another option for successfully paying back their education loans.
A study by the National Council on Teacher Quality found that inadequately funded teacher pension plans impose financial and opportunity costs on teachers too.
Prospective students were enticed with big salaries and plentiful opportunities when they graduated from an expensive law school, but their hopes did not pan out. The law school's marketing tactics didn't break the law but they weren't exactly candid either, a court found.
The National Association of School Nurses made a dramatic statement about the special role of school nurses in crisis prevention and response.
Addressing educator licensure, preparation program approval, and data collection, analysis, and reporting are three policy approaches that the Council of Chief State School Officers believes will improve the readiness of teachers and principals for the demands of their jobs.
"H" for health has been added to the acronym STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) -- and the state of Virginia is supporting education in the full breadth of these disciplines to prepare the state's workforce for the jobs of the future.
Every administrator and every teacher should have a copy of the how-to School Crisis Guide: Help and Healing in Time of Crisis.
The National Association of Secondary School Principals enumerated many reasons why educators packing heat will only make gun violence more likely.
Research on adolescent mental health provides insight into why some young people react to societal pressures by becoming violent and what therapeutic and social interventions are most effective in preventing tragedies.
In the aftermath of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, schools along the entire educational spectrum are instituting tighter security, enhanced law enforcement presence, and psychological services for students, teachers, and parents. The Department of Homeland Security provides resources for school safety measures.
New Year's Resolution: Learn!
Click for more details and to register ...
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.
A Series of Four Webinars During 2013
Tuesday, January 22, 2013 @ 1 PM Eastern (first session)
Educational entities (and employers of all stripes) have until January 1, 2014, to come into compliance with the health care reform law's "shared responsibility" requirements. There is a LOT to do between now and then. Join this webinar group to figure out, in four sessions throughout the year, where you are and what you need to do to be ready in time. The other three sessions are scheduled for April 23, July 23, and October 22, 2013.

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.
Thursday, January 31, 2013 @ 1 PM Eastern
Economic hardship, natural disasters, immigration issues, family problems ... there are a lot of reasons for students to experience homelessness. Even in these worst of circumstances, homeless children must be educated. Get a solid grounding in your school's statutory and legal responsibilities and how to deal with transportation, fee waivers, nutrition, and other issues.
RELAX -- Webinars on CD Option!
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
Taxpayers Claim Unequal Treatment in State Per-Pupil Funding Formula
Two taxpayers in Illinois sued the state superintendent of education, the state board of education, and the governor because of the state's reliance on an education funding formula that, they claimed, imposes substantially greater burdens on taxpayers who reside in districts where property values are low than it does on similarly situated taxpayers who reside in districts where property values are high. This disparity, they claimed, violates the equal protection clause of the Illinois constitution.
The school funding formula seeks to guarantee a minimum level of funding per pupil through a combination of state financial aid and local resources. For the 2009-10 school year (when the lawsuit was filed), the "foundation level" per pupil was $6,119. The amount that the state contributes in aid to schools to sustain the minimum level of funding is calculated using an average daily attendance figure and an "available local resources" figure. The plaintiffs offered themselves as examples of the disparate impact of this formula on taxpayers who live in "property-poor" school districts. To contribute to local resources, they each paid annual property tax rates that were higher than the rates paid by taxpayers in "property-rich" school districts. Because of the way the formula worked, students in "property-poor" districts also received substantially less in per-pupil instructional funds than those who attended school in "property-rich" districts.
In response to the lawsuit, the school officials and governor filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that the plaintiffs lacked standing to challenge the education funding statute. Among their arguments was that the Illinois Learning Standards (ILS), which penalize schools for unsatisfactory student performance, does not eliminate local control of schools or the ability to tax property at different rates. The trial court granted the motion to dismiss, finding that the two taxpayers lacked standing to bring their action because the variations in tax assessment rates were the result of local decision-making and could not be firmly traceable to the defendants. The court also ruled that the action against the board of education was barred by the state Lawsuit Immunity Act.
The Illinois appellate court affirmed, also noting that the Illinois School Code does not force school districts to impose certain property tax rates in order to contribute local resources to the per-pupil funding amount. The appellate court also observed that the plaintiffs had not alleged that students in their property-poor school districts had failed to meet the ILS, nor had the state imposed or threatened penalties against the schools.
On appeal to the Illinois Supreme Court, the plaintiffs had no more luck. They tried to press their argument that they are being treated unequally because of the state's funding formula. But the court affirmed that the plaintiffs lacked standing because the education funding statute is simply a funding statute, and not a taxing statute, and it does not require school districts to actually tax at any certain rate in order to receive general state aid. Therefore, the funding system had no direct effect on the plaintiff's disparate tax rates, and they could not show that they were directly injured by the defendants. Read the Illinois Supreme Court ruling in Carr et al. v. Koch, State Superintendent of Education et al., filed on November 29, 2012.
About EducationAdminWebAdvisor

EducationAdminWebAdvisor offers school administrators a source of ready information needed to run a modern teaching and learning enterprise, from pre-K to university, from small school to multi-level systems. Our online webinars, management tools, and free Web site content allow you to benefit firsthand from the experiences of experts in education administration, financial management, technology, research, law, and regulatory compliance. We will keep you in stride with the best practices of your fellow school administrators around the country and help you manage your institution's human resources, improve teacher and student performance, stretch budgetary resources, monitor trends in education management and delivery, deal with everyday challenges, and control legal and compliance risks.

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In This Issue
· Education administration, innovation, and compliance news & issues
·  ADAAA compliance in higher education
·  Staff and faculty diversity management plan
·  Student athletics in secondary schools
·  How to prepare for health care reform's January 1, 2014, compliance date
·  Bully-free campus and staff
·  Social media risks in education
·  Homeless and undocumented students: school responsibilities
Education in the Courts
·  Taxpayers claim disparate impact of state school funding formula
Here's a Thought
The Gun Violence in Schools Debate
"Greater access to mental health services, bullying prevention, and meaningful action on gun control -- this is where we need to focus our efforts, not on staggeringly misguided ideas about filling our schools with firearms. Lawmakers at every level of government should dismiss this dangerous idea and instead focus on measures that will create the safe and supportive learning environments our children deserve."
-- Dennis Van Roekel, National Education Association, and Randi Weingarten, American Federation of Teachers, joint statement
"The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun."
-- Wayne LaPierre, National Rifle Association

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