The federal government has filed its request for reconsideration of a federal appeals court ruling that revived a major challenge to the No Child Left Behind Act as an unfunded federal mandate. Lawyers filed papers on behalf of Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings asking the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit, in Cincinnati, to reconsider last month's decision by a three-judge panel of the court in Pontiac School District v. Spellings. The secretary had announced late last week that such a request was coming. The 6th Circuit court panel ruled 2-1 on Jan. 7 that the ...


Two upcoming events in two distinctly different areas of the country will involve discussions on race and education. On Thursday, Feb. 7, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen G. Breyer will participate in a symposium in Hawaii that examines a legal challenge to the Kamehameha Schools' policy of giving admissions preferences to Native Hawaiians, the Honolulu Star-Bulletin reports. The private school, which enrolls 6,550 students on three campuses in Hawaii, last year settled a lawsuit brought on behalf of a white student who was denied admission to the school. The Kamehameha Schools had won a ruling in the U.S....


U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings announced today that the Bush administration will appeal a court ruling that revived a lawsuit which contends the No Child Left Behind Act is an unfunded federal mandate. Spellings said that U.S. Solicitor General Paul D. Clement, who is the top appellate lawyer in the Department of Justice, has authorized an appeal asking that the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit, in Cincinnati, rehear the case of Pontiac School District v. Spellings. A panel of the 6th Circuit court ruled 2-1 on Jan. 7 that the states were ...


A federal appeals court today ruled against two Massachusetts families who objected to their children being exposed in public school to books and discussions promoting tolerance for gay marriage and families led by same-sex couples. A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit, in Boston, ruled unanimously that the Lexington, Mass., school system did not violate the rights of the parents or children by exposing them to books that they found objectionable on religious grounds. One family objected to their child being presented in kindergarten and 1st grade with two books that portrayed diverse ...


A federal appeals court today said it would take a fresh look at a case in which a student is challenging being strip-searched by school officials looking for prescription drugs. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, in San Francisco, said in a brief order that the full court had voted to rehear the case of Redding v. Safford Unified School District. The full court essentially set aside this September 2007 decision by a three-judge 9th Circuit panel that upheld the Safford, Ariz., district and various school officials over the student search. According to that decision, middle ...


The U.S. Supreme Court has just issued the schedule for oral arguments for its April session, the final round of cases to be argued for decision in the court's 2007-08 term. The absence of Crawford v. Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County (Case No. 06-1595) from the schedule means that that case, which concerns alleged retaliation against a witness in an investigation into sexual harassment in a school district central office, will be argued in the high court term that begins next October. I reported on the Crawford case in the blog here and in Education Week here. ...


The Jefferson County, Ky., school board heard a proposal on Monday for how it might be able to keep its schools integrated in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court decision last year that restricted the consideration of race in assigning students to schools. The Louisville Courier-Journal reports that race, income, and family education levels would be considered equally in assigning the district's 98,000 students to schools. "Under the proposal, all schools--elementary, middle and high--must enroll at least 15 percent and no more than 50 percent of their students from neighborhoods that have income and education levels below ...


In this week's print edition of Education Week, I have this story about the relatively few school-related cases that will be argued in the U.S. Supreme Court in its 2007-08 term. The court has heard only one case directly involving a school district, and the justices deadlocked in that case, Board of Education of New York City v. Tom F. The court is now finished accepting cases for argument in the current term. It will hear arguments for recently granted cases in February, March, and April, with decisions expected in all its pending cases by late June. While there ...


The Juneau, Alaska, school board is pursuing some $5,000 in legal fees from the former high school student whose "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" banner led to a landmark U.S. Supreme Court case, the Juneau Empire is reporting. The justices ruled 6-3 last year in Morse v. Frederick that the banner unfurled by Joseph Frederick at an Olympic torch relay outside his high school was not protected speech under the First Amendment. Five members of the court signed an opinion that said school officials have the right to regulate drug-related messages on school campuses. I reported on the decision ...


A federal appeals court today ruled against a family seeking to compel a school district to allow a service dog to accompany a student with a hearing impairment at school. A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit, in New York City, ruled unanimously that the parents had failed to exhaust their administrative remedies under federal special education law before suing the East Meadow Union Free School District. According to the decision, the parents had asked school officials to allow their son to bring his service dog, Simba, to school. The dog would help ...


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