Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Supreme Court rules that questions in semester examinations are not public records

The Supreme Court of Ohio ruled last week that the questions used in semester examinations administered to all ninth-grade students in the Cincinnati Public School District are not “public records” subject to disclosure under the state’s Public Records Act because they fall within a statutory exception for trade secrets. The Court’s 5-2 majority decision was authored by Justice Judith Ann Lanzinger

Friday, September 11, 2009

Charter Schools win case brought by Attorney General

In a case that vetted public school organizations such as the Ohio Educational Association, the Ohio Association of School Business Officials, and the Buckeye Association of School Administrators against those like National Alliance for Public Charter Schools and the Ohio Alliance for Public Charter Schools, the charter schools win, at least for now.

In a decision by the Second District Court of Appeals, the appeals court upheld a decision by the trial court finding that charter schools are political subdivisions, rather than charitable trusts. The case arose when then Attorney General Nancy Rogers attempted to use her regulatory powers over charitable trusts against an allegedly failing charter school. The charter school alleged that, because it was a political subdivision and not a charitable trust, the Attorney General could not regulate it.

The trial court agreed, as did the appeals court.

The case can be found at http://www.sconet.state.oh.us/rod/docs/pdf/2/2009/2009-ohio-4608.pdf

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals reverses trial court on school custodian's firing

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed last week a decision of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio regarding the placement of a school custodian on involuntary leave in the Valley View School District. The school custodian claimed that the school district violated the Family and Medical Leave Act when it placed her on leave due to her taking leaves of absence after a car accident, on the advice of her physician.

The superintendent admitted that the school had used the custodian's leaves of absence as a factor against her in placing her on leave. The court reiterated that an employer is prohibited from “us[ing] the taking of FMLA leave as a negative factor in employment actions.” Thus, the Court found that the lower court was incorrect in its finding for the school district.

The U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has appellate jurisdiction over district courts in Ohio, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Michigan.