Tuesday, August 24, 2010

University liable for dorm room break in

The Court of Claims today held that when a university dormitory door has a defect, it is liable for damages resulting from a break-in of that door.

In that case, a student at Ohio University ("OU") had his belongings stolen from his dorm room over Christmas break. A review by OU maintenance determined that the anti-pick device on the dormitory door was not installed properly.

Pointing to Chetsko v. Miami Univ., Ct. of Cl. No. 2007-03960-AD, 2007-Ohio-4395 and
Smith v. Miami Univ., Ct. of Cl. No. 2008-10501-AD, 2009-Ohio-2418, the Court of Claims held the university liable for the replacement costs of the stolen goods as well as the filing fee and court costs.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Bill to allow teachers to deduct classroom materials from income tax proposed

Ohio State Senator Eric Kearney, D-Cincinnati, introduced S.B. 290 to allow teachers to write off on their Ohio income tax the amounts that they spend for instructional materials in their classroom.

Under the bill, the tax commissioner has the right to request that the teacher provide a receipt for each item used in calculating the deduction and a letter from the teacher's employer confirming that the items were used for classroom instruction. Only teachers in grades K-12 are eligible, and are required to hold an educator license. Teachers who instruct a child exclusively at home and not eligible for the deduction.

The Ohio Education Association has not taken an official stance yet on the legislation. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

School Districts do not have standing to pursue IDEA claims, Sixth Circuit rules

In a case that pitted local educational agencies against a state department of education, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit ruled that the local school district did not even have the right to bring the case in Court under the Individual with Disabilities in Education Act.

After a review of the text of the statute, and relevant case law, the court found that local educational agencies did not possess an explicit or implicit private right of action pursuant to 20 U.S.C. § 1415(i)(2)(A) [IDEA] to challenge a state agency’s compliance with certain “procedural safeguards” set forth in § 1415(b) of the IDEA.

That is, the Court found that the the procedural safeguards articulated
in the statute were enacted so that parents with disabled children could enforce their child’s right to a free appropriate public education, not for local school districts.

This is the first time that this issue has been decided by the Sixth Circuit, which includes Ohio.