Education-Related Bills Signed into Law by Governor Snyder

The start of the New Year saw Governor Snyder sign several new education-themed bills into law. Some of these new laws bring major changes of importance to educators K-12. The new laws and their requirements are discussed below.

Senate Bill No. 74, now Public Act No. 478, officially added cyber-bullying to Matt’s Safe School Law. Cyber-bullying is now a prohibited form of bulling under Michigan anti-bullying law. The Act defines “cyber-bullying” as “any electronic communication that is intended or that a reasonable person would know is likely to harm one or more pupils either directly or indirectly.” All Michigan schools have six months to modify their bullying policies to include cyber-bullying.

Senate Bill No. 492, now Public Act No. 479, makes the cut-off birthday for enrollment of kindergartners the same for children who reside in the district as for children who are eligible to enroll in the district through school of choice. The child must be five years old by December 1st of that school year to enroll in kindergarten. This law provides for uniformity amongst enrollment among resident and school of choice students. READ MORE HERE.

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COA Affirms School Secretaries are Noninstructional Support

The Michigan Court of Appeals recently affirmed the decision of the Michigan Employment Relations Commission (MERC), which held that school secretaries are noninstructional support personnel pursuant to the Public Employment Relations Act (PERA). Reese Public School District v Reese Professional Support Personnel Association MEA/NEA, Case No 316528, unpublished opinion of the COA (December 30, 2014). This is significant because the distinction of a classification of employees as noninstructional support personnel allows a public school district to subcontract out the work performed by that classification without the need to bargain. READ MORE HERE.

Second Circuit Upholds New York Mandatory Vaccination Law to Attend a Public School

With the current outbreak of the measles beginning at Disneyland and spreading across the country, the controversy on vaccination of children is gaining attention nationwide. Parents give various reasons for choosing against vaccination, such as religion or fear of side effects on the health of the child. Despite this opposition, all fifty states have laws requiring children to be vaccinated before attending a public school. No federal law exists including this requirement. However, all states have exemptions based on medical issues, and most states permit religious or philosophical exemptions. READ MORE HERE.