Overview

Pullman & Comley has established a cross-disciplinary legal team comprised of attorneys who have experience in diverse areas of the law and are dedicated to serving the unique needs of educational institutions.  As educational institutions face a myriad of legal, business, financial and regulatory issues, our attorneys respond to our clients’ evolving needs across a full range of matters.  Our Education Law team brings a vast range of experience to every situation and  includes attorneys from our corporate and business, public finance, property valuation, employee benefits, technology and intellectual property, energy, real estate, environmental and land use, green development, nonprofit organizations, labor and employment, litigation, and cybersecurity, privacy and infrastructure protection practice areas. 

Pullman & Comley works with independent and public schools, colleges and universities to find practical, innovative and cost effective solutions to the array of legal issues they face.  We work directly with general counsel, senior management, boards of directors and trustees, presidents and other administrators to provide legal advice and representation in the areas of the law that affect these educational institutions.

News & Insights

Education Law Notes Blog

Education Law Notes Blog

Attorneys from Pullman & Comley's School Law practice publish "Education Law Notes," which alerts readers to, and provides insights on, new developments in education law.  "Education Law Notes" covers legal matters that pertain to public school districts, private schools, colleges and universities ranging from issues in academics, labor and employment and gender equality to disability rights, social media, bullying and administrative policies and procedures.

We have been closely monitoring the legal implications of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic for educators, and have been responding to a broad range of client questions. For your reference our most recent Education Law Notes posts are highlighted below.  For a complete list of all of our firm's advisories related to COVID-19, please visit our FOCUS-Responding to COVID-19 page.

EDUCATION LAW NOTES: Must School Districts Pay for Bus Transportation and All Employee Salaries While Schools Are Closed? What the “CARES Act” May Mean to Connecticut School Districts – March 29, 2020
A brief summary of what the CARES Act means for public schools, including a possible mandate to continue to pay all employees and contractors, even if they may not be providing services.

EDUCATION LAW NOTES: Dispelling the Myth: Yes Virginia, You Can Use Interactive Videoconferencing with Students as Part of Distance Learning – March 27, 2020
Despite the protestations of some teachers and their unions, there is nothing illegal about directly teaching students through videoconferencing.  This neither violates the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) nor state law regarding data privacy.

EDUCATION LAW NOTES:  Happy Talk! Connecticut’s Bureau of Special Education Issues Guidance for the COVID-19 Era – March 27, 2020
On March 24, 2020, the Bureau of Special Education issued guidance on the provision of special education during the COVID-19 pandemic and provided districts with some wiggle room as they try to fit a school-based IEP into the virtual confines of distance learning.

EDUCATION LAW NOTES: Teach On! Remote Group Instruction, Student Privacy, and FERPA in the Age of the Coronavirus – March 24, 2020
A particularly pressing concern has been determining how to handle student privacy rights in the course of providing remote instruction.

EDUCATION LAW NOTES: “How About Never!?” – COVID-19, School Closures, and Planning and Placement Team Meetings – March 19, 2020
There has been some confusion as to whether school districts are currently permitted to unilaterally decline parent requests to PPT meetings or to otherwise indefinitely postpone them.

EDUCATION LAW NOTES: Governor Lamont’s Executive Order Regarding the Municipal and Regional School District Budget Deadlines (and Waiver of Certain Educational Mandates) – March 18, 2020
With “Executive Order 7C,” Governor Lamont has ordered that notwithstanding any contrary statutes, charters or local ordinances, all municipal budget deadlines occurring on or before May 15, 2020 that pertain to the preparation of a municipal budget for the 2020-2021 fiscal year are extended by 30 days.

EDUCATION LAW NOTES: OCR Issues Guidance on Nondiscrimination in the Age of Distance Learning – March 18, 2020
The U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights (OCR) issued a fact sheet entitled “Addressing the Risk of COVID-19 in Schools While Protecting the Civil Rights of Students,”  addressing various types of discrimination that must be avoided while providing education to students in these uncertain times.

EDUCATION LAW NOTES: Complying with FERPA During COVID-19 – March 17, 2020
A school district’s obligations under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act are not relaxed during these difficult times where school districts are trying to cope with COVID-19.  However, schools should understand the “health or safety emergency” exception to FERPA’s general consent requirements.

EDUCATION LAW NOTES: How to Implement Distance Learning and Still Comply with Existing State and Federal Laws - March 17, 2020
As a return to regular school seems less likely in the near future, schools need to devise creative ways to provide high quality education to their students.  Yesterday, the Connecticut Commissioner of Education issued two letters aimed at making this easier for schools to accomplish.

EDUCATION LAW NOTES: Governor Lamont’s Executive Order and the FOIA’s “Open Meetings” Requirements – March 16, 2020
The outbreak of COVID-19 has caused practical concerns regarding how public agencies can comply with Connecticut’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and its posting and open meeting requirements when large gatherings have been prohibited.

EDUCATION LAW NOTES: Special Education in the Age of the Coronavirus – March 16, 2020
Connecticut’s mandated closing of school districts up to March 31, 2020 in response to COVID-19 has left school districts struggling with how they can best continue to provide legally mandated specialized instruction and related services to special education students.

EDUCATION LAW NOTES:  Addressing Your Labor Matters While Closing Your District Due to COVID-19 - March 16, 2020
Connecticut school districts have been directed to be closed until at least March 31, 2020.  The CIAC has cancelled winter sports playoffs and schools have cancelled extracurricular activities. So, what happens next?

EDUCATION LAW NOTES: What If Your District Shuts Down and Cannot Meet the 180 School Day Minimum for Instruction? - March 13, 2020
Governor Lamont issued an Executive Order waiving the 180 days as long as certain conditions are met.

EDUCATION LAW NOTES: Guidance to Address COVID-19  - March 10, 2020
What school districts in Connecticut should know.

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