A federal district judge has approved a consent decree in which a Florida school district agrees to end school-sponsored religious practices, including prayers and baccalaureate services. "School officials shall neither offer nor participate in a prayer during or in conjunction with a school event," says one of many requirements set forth in the consent decree approved May 6 by U.S. District Judge M. Casey Rodgers of Pensacola, Fla. The decree came in a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida on behalf of two high school students against the Santa Rosa County school district. The decree ...


A decision last Friday by a federal district judge in California in a lawsuit over a teacher's comments in the classroom is getting a lot of attention. It was even discussed on "The View" today. Judge James V. Selna of Santa Ana, Calif., ruled that a teacher's classroom statement that creationism is "superstitious nonsense" violated the rights of a student in the teacher's Advanced Placement European history course. The statement by teacher James Corbett "primarily sends a message of disapproval of religion or creationism," Judge Selna said in his May 1 opinion, and that violates the First Amendment right of ...


Souter has done his most prolific opinion writing on cases involving government aid to religion or religion in the public schools.


The U.S. Supreme Court today took up a major case involving the Voting Rights Act of 1965, with the justices debating whether Congress had the right in 2006 to extend a key section that subjects certain states and counties to greater scrutiny for discrimination in voting procedures. The case has implications for school districts in any of the states covered by Section 5 of the voting-rights law. Under that section, the states and local governments must get federal approval, or "preclearance," of any change in voting procedure. For affected school districts, that typically involves changes in district boundaries for ...


A special education case in the U.S. Supreme Court today showed that some justices are concerned about parents getting a fair shake in the system, while others worry that school districts and taxpayers must shoulder the burden for expensive private schools for some students. "I think we've got to assume that Congress has some concern for the parents who correctly say, this [individualized education plan] is no good, it just can't be done in the school system, and the kid needs a special school," Justice David H. Souter said to the lawyer representing an Oregon school district. But Chief ...


The U.S. Supreme Court today declined to hear the appeal of a Kentucky family over a school's handling of a middle school student who gave a prescription Adderall pill to one of her classmates. The refusal to take up S.E. v. Grant County Board of Education (Case No. 08-927) is not a ruling on the merits, but it is interesting because the justices often hold on to appeals that raise the same or similar issues to cases they are deciding. Just last week, the court heard arguments in Safford Unified School District v. Redding, about whether the Fourth ...


With a busy week for education in the Supreme Court, I haven't had time to take note of these rulings: Arizona Private School Tax Credit: A federal appeals court revived a challenge to a state program that provides an income tax credit for contributions to private school scholarships, including at religious schools. A panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, in San Francisco, ruled 3-0 in Winn v. Arizona Christian School Organization that if the facts as alleged in a challenge are true, the tax credit program "“carries with it the imprimatur of government endorsement” ...


The case before the high court involved employment tests for firefighters, but race-conscious actions by schools were on the minds of some of the justices.


It didn't take long for today's U.S. Supreme Court arguments to delve into extreme hypotheticals about the limits of permissible school searches.


The U.S. Supreme Court appeared sharply divided today over a case that asks whether the state of Arizona is doing enough to educate English-language learners to satisfy a federal civil rights law. Kenneth W. Starr, the lawyer representing Republican state legislative leaders who are seeking relief from a federal court order that effectively is forcing the state to spend more on ELL programs, told the justices that English learners "are, in fact, making progress" under the program funded by the legislature. This drew a sharp response from Justice Stephen G. Breyer, who cited detailed test results showing that English ...


Follow This Blog

Advertisement

Most Viewed on Education Week

Categories

Archives

Recent Comments