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Legal Issues Update Presented by: Cory Kirby Harben, Hartley & Hawkins, LLP Wachovia Center, Suite 750 340 Jesse Jewell Parkway Gainesville, Georgia 30501.

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Presentation on theme: "Legal Issues Update Presented by: Cory Kirby Harben, Hartley & Hawkins, LLP Wachovia Center, Suite 750 340 Jesse Jewell Parkway Gainesville, Georgia 30501."— Presentation transcript:

1 Legal Issues Update Presented by: Cory Kirby Harben, Hartley & Hawkins, LLP Wachovia Center, Suite 750 340 Jesse Jewell Parkway Gainesville, Georgia 30501 Telephone: (770) 534-7341; Facsimile: (770) 532-0399

2  2011-12 Work Calendar and Pay Scale

3 SBOE shall establish a schedule of minimum salaries for services rendered which shall be on a ten-month basis…. The minimum salary schedule shall provide a minimum salary base for each classification of professional personnel required to be certificated; shall provide for increment increases above the minimum salary base…based upon individual experience and length of satisfactory service…. The minimum salary base for certificated professional personnel with bachelor’s degrees and no experience, when annualized from a ten- month basis to a 12-month basis, shall be comparable to the beginning salaries of the recent graduates of the University System of Georgia…. 3

4 The General Assembly shall annually appropriate funds to implement a salary schedule for certificated professional personnel. For each state fiscal year, the state board shall adopt the salary schedule for which funding has been appropriated by the General Assembly. A LUA shall not pay to any full-time certificated professional employee a salary less than that prescribed by the schedule of minimum salaries…; nor shall a LUA pay to any part-time certificated professional employee less than a pro rata portion of the respective salary prescribed by the schedule of minimum salaries…. 4

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13 For Grades K–12, the LBOE shall schedule the school year for students as a minimum of 180 school days or its equivalent. Beyond the school year for students, the LBOE shall adopt policies and procedures identifying the number of days to be utilized for professional learning for all employees.

14  What Rules Apply to PreK Teachers? Statutes – O.C.G.A. § 20-1a v. O.C.G.A. § 20-2 Entity – Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL) v. State Board of Education Rules v. Guidelines

15  What Options Exist for Current Pre-K Teachers? Reduction in Force Moving Teachers into K-12 slot Remain in Pre-K

16  What Options Exist? What Should School Districts Do? Consider Implementing a New Contract


18 Pursuant to the terms, conditions and agreements set forth below, which are mutually acknowledged to be of good and sufficient consideration, the Employer has offered and the Employee has accepted employment as a member of the Pre-K staff of the ________ Pre-K Program for the 2011/2012 program year.

19 The Employee shall be paid a salary equal to the minimum required to be paid to such an employee for the minimum number of days required under rules, regulations, guidelines and work calendars applicable to the 2011-2012 work year established by the Department of Early Care and Learning and set by the Employer in accordance with all applicable state guidelines

20 The salary will be decreased based on any decrease in the state minimum salary required by state guidelines. [Any salary greater than the minimum salary required by state guidelines is conditioned upon the continued availability of any and all funds available at the time of this contact, with all salaries subject to downward adjustment according to decreases in such funding from the level anticipated at the time this contract is signed.]

21 (4) The Employee agrees to teach the curriculum and standards, perform the duties of the position, and obey the rules and regulations of the Employer, the Department of Early Childcare and Learning, and, if applicable, the Professional Standards Commission in effect at the time of the execution of this contract or hereafter enacted or amended.

22  Main Purpose: Fix criminal background problem – allows both PSC and District to do criminal background checks  Eliminates temporary 200 day employment contracts (new employment contracts)  Now, can employ for 20 days without a contract and without a clearance certificate  Apply for clearance certificate after running background check and after deciding to hire employee  Clearance certificate use PSC standards as to criminal charges and no ethics violations

23 1. No more 200 day (new employee) contract 2. Work/paid as a substitute until clearance certificate issued 3. PSC standard and District’s standard may not be the same as criminal record 4. Even if employee has a clearance certificate, STILL need to check for past certification issues 5. Even if there is a clearance certificate STILL need to run a background check

24  State Education Finance Study Committee created to evaluate QBE formula Composed of 20 members, including superintendent, principal or other administrator, a teacher, member of LBOE, member of State Board, representative from University System, Technical College System, PSC, School Finance Officer, business representative, State School Superintendent, Chief Finance Office from DOE and legislators

25  Moves back the deadline from June 30, 2013 to June 30, 2015.  Decision to request increased flexibility option  Maintains, extends from last year authority for districts to qualify for middle school funding even though the grades are not in the same building.

26  Provides a definition of contractor and sub-subcontractor  If BOE does not maintain website, must provide employer federally issued user identification number and date of authorization to Carl Vinson Institute of Government of UGA  Before a bid for any physical performance of service is considered by BOE, the bid shall include a signed, notarized affidavit from the contractor attesting to: Affiant has registered with, is authorized to use, and uses the federal work authorization program User identification number and date of authorization for affiant; affiant will continue to use e-verify throughout the contract period and affiant will contract for the physical performance of services only with subcontracts who present an affidavit to the contractor with the same information Subcontractor and sub-subcontract must comply with statute Contractor must submit affidavits, driver’s licenses and other required information to BOE within 5 business days of receipt By August 1, 2011, Department of Audits shall create and post on website form affidavits

27  No later than 12/31 of each year, the BOE must submit compliance report to auditor certifying compliance.  Compliance report must contain BOE federal work authorization program verification user number, date of authorization, legal name, address, federal work authorization program user number of contractor and date of contract between contractor and BOE  Subject to available funds, auditor is to conduct an annual compliance audit on at least half of the reporting agencies  If BOE is found in violation, it shall have a 30-day cure period. If deficiencies are not cured within 30 days, BOE shall be excluded from list of “qualified local governments”  Can seek administrative relief through OSAH

28  BOE shall not be held civilly or criminally liable or responsible for “unknowingly or unintentionally” accepting a bid from contractor, subcontractor or sub- subcontractor who acted in violation of statute

29  Proposer/Bidder – By providing a proposal or bid, proposer/bidder certifies that he/she is in compliance with O.C.G.A. § 13-10-90, et seq. No proposal or bid will be considered by the BOE unless it is accompanied with a signed, notarized affidavit from the proposer/bidder attesting to the following:

30 (a) The affiant has registered with and is authorized to use and uses the federal work authorization program (b) The user identification number and date of authorization for the affiant; and’ (c) The affiant will continue to use the federal work authorization program throughout the contract period; and (d) The affiant will contract for the physical performance of services in satisfaction of such contract only with subcontractors who present an affidavit to the contractor with the same information required in subparagraphs (a), (b) and © of this paragraph.

31  School district may receive and store prescription epi pen onsite on behalf of student who is not able to self-administer the medication due to age or other reason Provide that….  Written statement from physician detailing name of medication, method, amount and time schedule for medication to be taken, and  Written statement from parent authorizing school nurse (other designated school individual) to consult with physician and releasing district and employees from civil liability Provides immunity from civil liability to school personnel who “in good faith” administers or doesn’t administer epi pen

32  Amended to index the $50 million tax credit cap to inflation rate of CPI  Limits the amount an organization can give to the average of state and local funding per pupil as determined by DOE

33 United States Supreme Court decision addressing Arizona tuition tax credit scheme similar to Georgia’s Challenge is based on the First A. establishment clause, but Court never gets there Instead, finds that taxpayer has no standing since a tax credit never is the Government’s money

34  Why worry about vouchers if you can have tax credits?  Expansion of current program, see HB 325  50 million dollars will grow every year  Private schools, virtual private schools?  What about the Georgia Constitution?

35  Creates civil monetary penalty if driver of vehicle failed to stop when school bus has stop sign out As evidenced by recorded images Graduated fine schedule – 1 st : $300, 2 nd: $750, 3 rd +: $1,000 (in five year period)

36  Will we see seatbelts on school buses?  If so, who pays?

37  Whereas, the rapidly rising health insurance premiums are impacting state budgets, and the state’s fiscal pressures are leading the need to encourage proposals to change funding and cost sharing  Whereas, there is a general trend toward greater cost sharing for all plan types  Stay tuned….

38  SB 184: seniority is bad; what about the evaluation of teachers  HOPE: valedictorians and salutatorians

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40  By 8/1/11, LBOE policy with specified elements  Bullying prohibition must be in codes of conduct for ALL schools  Alternative school assignment for grades 6-12 after tribunal finding of 3 rd bullying offense  Notification of parents of bully and victim  SDOE model already issued 40

41  Reporting requirement – may be anonymous, required for staff, must be investigation, immunity provided, no retaliation  Applies to bullying, harassment, intimidation and retaliation  Definitions much broader than state statute  Model policy not mandated, how do you decide? 41

42  We are suggesting that local boards not necessarily adopt the model policy.  Consider all issues carefully, and consult with your attorneys.  You have to decide what conduct you want your policy to cover. 42

43  Statutes involved include: Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act

44  On October 26, 2010, USDOE Office of Civil Rights put out a “Dear Colleague” letter addressing bullying and harassment.  The OCR letter praised the current efforts at the state and local level to combat bullying, but had as its principal purpose to remind that bullying activity may also trigger responsibilities under federal antidiscrimination laws.  Those responsibilities broader than standard set by the courts for monetary liability 44

45  “School districts may violate these civil rights statutes and the Department’s implementing regulations when peer harassment based on race, color, national origin, sex or disability is sufficiently serious that it creates a hostile environment and such harassment is encouraged, tolerated, not adequately addressed, or ignored by school employees.” 45

46  DOE has come up with a definition for “harassment and intimidation” centering on the motive for the actions, which may include “electronic communication” without regard to its origins.  Motives are based on “any actual or perceived characteristic including race, color, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, ancestry, national origin, physical attributes, socioeconomic status, physical or mental ability or disability, or by any other distinguishing characteristic.” 46

47  May want to have uniform procedures in place at each school on how reports of bullying and harassment are reported, investigated and documented.  Documentation or investigation, discipline and remedial steps  Response to the victim just as important as punishment 47

48  Having a complaints procedure  Having a Coordinator appointed  Determine that the conduct is harassment that would be under the purview of OCR  Conduct an immediate investigation  Take prompt and effective steps reasonably calculated to end harassment  Eliminate any hostile environment and its effects  Prevent the harassment from recurring 48

49 1. Who determines if it’s bullying or harassment or nothing? 2. Are the investigations for bullying vs. harassment different? Do they have to be documented differently? 3. How to follow the appropriate procedures to meet both the State and Federal requirements. 4. How to coordinate the documentation and investigation throughout the District. 5. How to train staff and parents? 49

50  Sending them to SBOE  Sending them to Georgia’s AG for preclearance by US AG  What if we Didn’t?  How to Do it?  Enforcement in the Future


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