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Open Enrollment Policies Should be Reviewed Before January Board Meeting

As the February-April 2016 regular open enrollment application period approaches, school districts should review their open enrollment policies to confirm that they are in compliance with the open enrollment statute (Wis. Stat. § 118.51) and DPI regulations (Wis. Admin. Code Chapter PI 36), both of which have undergone recent changes. Any policy revisions should be…

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Implementing RDA for School Districts

Q: What is a current school law issue that every school district should have on its radar? A: Results Driven Accountability (RDA). On June 24, 2014, the U.S. Department of Education announced a major shift in the way it will evaluate the effectiveness of state special education programs. Until then, the focus had been primarily on procedural…

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EMPLOYEE BENEFITS UPDATE: IRS Benefit Plan Limitations

Earlier today, the Internal Revenue Service issued the various retirement plan limitations for 2016. The most important numbers have not changed from 2015. Elective Deferral Limit—$18,000 Catch-Up Contributions—$6,000 415 (Total) Plan Limit—$53,000 Compensation Limit—$265,000 See an up-to-date chart that shows the historical limits from 2012 through 2016, and a reference to the IRS sources. For…

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All E-mails May Not Be Student Records

Recently, the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction issued an IDEA Complaint Decision (Decision 15-029, 2015) 115 LRP 31928, in which it determined that a parental request for all of their child’s education records under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) does not include any e-mails not within the student’s actual file. The DPI…

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Wisconsin Budget Bill Creates New Standard for Union Organizing

Under Act 10, public sector unions must recertify annually by obtaining the support of at least 51% of all employees within the bargaining unit. If the union fails to receive such support, it will be decertified and one full year must pass prior to any union attempt to re-organize. After the one-year period expires, the…

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Review Weapons Policies in Light of Changes to Gun-Free School Zones Act

On June 25, 2015, Governor Walker signed a bill modifying the Gun-Free School Zones Act (Wis. Stat. § 948.605). The new law, which goes into effect today, modifies the Gun-Free School Zones Act to permit certain off-duty, out-of-state, and former law enforcement officers to possess firearms in school zones. The Gun-Free School Zones Act prohibits…

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U.S. Supreme Court Highlights the Need to Review 401(k) Plan Fees

Earlier today, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a unanimous ruling that highlights the need to review 401(k) plan fees. The case is Tibble v. Edison and it reinforces the fact that employers need to understand 401(k) plan fees, minimize 401(k) plan fees and monitor 401(k) plan investments. The Tibble v. Edison Case. Tibble v. Edison…

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EEOC Proposed Wellness Regulations: Many Programs Would Be Allowed…With Some New Complications

On April 16, 2015, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) finally released proposed regulations that would allow many workplace wellness programs to operate without violating the Americans with Disability Act (“ADA”). As summarized in earlier Legal Updates, the EEOC filed several lawsuits last year alleging that some very common wellness programs violated the ADA…

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Right to Work Poised to Become the Law in Wisconsin

Last week, the State Senate passed its version of the Right to Work bill (2015 Senate Bill 44); and, today, the State Assembly passed an identical bill (2015 Assembly Bill 61). Governor Scott Walker is expected to sign the bill on Monday, making it law. Wisconsin’s Right to Work legislation provides freedom of choice to…

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U.S. Department of Labor Announces Final Rule for Federal Contractors Aimed at Non-Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

The Attorney General recently issued a legal opinion on whether fees can be charged for copies of public records, when the requester uses their own technology to make the copies. (OAG-12-14, 12/30/14). This new legal opinion addresses the fees that can be charged for copies of court documents maintained by the clerk of courts or…

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