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Legal Issues for the General Assembly and the End of the School Year February 5, 2013 Athens, Georgia Phil Hartley Harben, Hartley & Hawkins, LLP 1.

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Presentation on theme: "Legal Issues for the General Assembly and the End of the School Year February 5, 2013 Athens, Georgia Phil Hartley Harben, Hartley & Hawkins, LLP 1."— Presentation transcript:

1 Legal Issues for the General Assembly and the End of the School Year February 5, 2013 Athens, Georgia Phil Hartley Harben, Hartley & Hawkins, LLP 1

2  Move on, but don’t forget what we learned  The Support of Your Community  The Message is Important 2

3  Involving Parents, Involving the Community  Charter is Not a Negative Word  There are So Many Other Options  Communication is the Key 3

4  Tuition Tax Credits  Expanding Vouchers  New State Charters  Flexibility for Districts? 4

5 What is the trigger? Unacceptable, lower 20%, performance standards How Many Parents (or Teachers) Must Decide? Majority or 60% Then What? Charter Remove Personnel Parent Choice within the District Monitor or Management Team School Improvement Plan Restructure School Governance 5

6  Evaluations  Teacher Authority and Discipline 6

7  Started with QBE and mandated evaluations developed by the State  Why that Didn’t Work  Local Control and HB 1187  Tying Evaluations to Pay and Certification  A New State Model and RTTT  Mandated Evaluations Developed by the State 7

8  Who will be evaluated: Teachers of record, principals, everyone else  Multiple measurements, including student achievement  “Fair, rigorous, transparent, and valid measures”  State Assessments, SLO’s, Growth analysis  How much will it count?  Classroom observations and student assessments  "Exemplary," "Proficient," "Needs Development," or "Ineffective," 8

9  Certification  Step increases and merit pay  “A rating of “Ineffective” shall constitute evidence of incompetency”  “Local school systems shall base decisions regarding retention, promotion, compensation, dismissals, and other staffing decisions, including transfers, placements, and preferences in the event of reductions in force, primarily on the results of the evaluations” 9

10 § 20-2-210. Annual performance evaluation (b) Annual teacher evaluations shall at a minimum take into consideration the following: (1) The role of the teacher in meeting the school's student achievement goals, including the academic gains of students assigned to the teacher; (2) Observations of the teacher by the principal and assistant principals during the delivery of instruction and at other times as appropriate; (3) Participation in professional development opportunities and the application of concepts learned to classroom and school activities; (4) Communication and interpersonal skills as they relate to interaction with students, parents, other teachers, administrators, and other school personnel; (5) Timeliness and attendance for assigned responsibilities; (6) Adherence to school and local school system procedures and rules; and (7) Personal conduct while in performance of school duties. 10

11  Frustration with Principals and Assistant Principals  Frustration with Tribunals and Boards  Frustration with Juvenile Courts  Frustration with Special Education Rules  Frustration with Parents 11

12 § 16-11-127.1. Carrying weapons within school safety zones, at school functions, or on school property (a) As used in this Code section, the term: (2) "Weapon" means and includes any pistol, revolver, or any weapon designed or intended to propel a missile of any kind, or any dirk, bowie knife, switchblade knife, ballistic knife, any other knife having a blade of two or more inches, straight-edge razor, razor blade, spring stick, knuckles, whether made from metal, thermoplastic, wood, or other similar material, blackjack, any bat, club, or other bludgeon-type weapon, or any flailing instrument consisting of two or more rigid parts connected in such a manner as to allow them to swing freely, which may be known as a nun chahka, nun chuck, nunchaku, shuriken, or fighting chain, or any disc, of whatever configuration, having at least two points or pointed blades which is designed to be thrown or propelled and which may be known as a throwing star or oriental dart, or any weapon of like kind, and any stun gun or taser as defined in subsection (a) of Code Section 16-11-106. This paragraph excludes any of these instruments used for classroom work authorized by the teacher. 12

13 (b) (1) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (c) of this Code section, it shall be unlawful for any person to carry to or to possess or have under such person's control while within a school safety zone or at a school building, school function, or school property or on a bus or other transportation furnished by the school any weapon (2) Any license holder who violates this subsection shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. Any person who is not a license holder who violates this subsection shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, be punished by a fine of not more than $10,000.00, by imprisonment for not less than two nor more than ten years, or both. (4) A child who violates this subsection may be subject to the provisions of Code Section 15-11-63. 13

14 (c) The provisions of this Code section shall not apply to: (6) A person who has been authorized in writing by a duly authorized official of the school to have in such person's possession or use as part of any activity being conducted at a school building, school property, or school function a weapon which would otherwise be prohibited by this Code section. Such authorization shall specify the weapon or weapons which have been authorized and the time period during which the authorization is valid; (17) Teachers and other school personnel who are otherwise authorized to possess or carry weapons, provided that any such weapon is in a locked compartment of a motor vehicle or one which is in a locked container in or a locked firearms rack which is on a motor vehicle; or 14

15 (19) Designated school administrators under Code Section 16-11-127.3. “the board of education … may designate one or more administrators at each school… to possess and carry firearms within a school safety zone or school building, at a school function, or on school property or on a bus or other transportation furnished by the school, including carrying such firearms concealed.” “Such administrators… shall: (1) Obtain a weapons carry license; and (2)Attend and successfully complete the basic training course for peace officers or a training course developed specifically for school administrators” “Each administrator … shall annually qualify with each firearm that he or she intends to possess or carry … with the county sheriff's department or a municipal police department in the county in which the school at which he or she is an administrator is located.” “The board of education shall pay for the costs of all necessary and recurring training” 15

16 Concussion Legislation Carbon Monoxide Monitoring Requirements Bullying and Cyber Bullying Changes Creation of Ministerial Duties 16

17 EEOC More diligent in investigations More findings of discrimination and retaliation Are they filing more lawsuits? DOJ More parallel investigations with OCR/EEOC GNETS programs in Ga. Legislation by Amicus Briefs 17

18 Bullying/Harassment More, longer, diligent investigations Legislation by Regulation Legislation by Waivers Legislation by Dear Colleague Letters 18

19 "Students with disabilities who cannot participate in the school district’s existing extracurricular athletics program – even with reasonable modifications or aids and services – should still have an equal opportunity to receive the benefits of extracurricular athletics. When the interests and abilities of some students with disabilities cannot be as fully and effectively met by the school district’s existing extracurricular athletic program, the school district should create additional opportunities for those students with disabilities.... In those circumstances, a school district should offer students with disabilities opportunities for athletic activities that are separate or different from those offered to students without disabilities. These athletic opportunities provided by school districts should be supported equally, as with a school district’s other athletic activities." 19

20 March 20, 2013 – right after GCASE, newest issues in Special Education March 21, 2013 – focus on tribunals, safety, and enrollment March 22, 2013 – focus on hiring/contracts, nonrenewal, personnel files, EEOC/FMLA 20

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