I’ve been kind of busy with the announcement of Arne Duncan as secretary of education and other things, but here are some school law developments from the past few days:
MyTeacherSpace: A federal district court has ruled that a Pennsylvania school district did not violate the First Amendment rights of a student teacher when it barred her from continuing to teach because of a posting on her MySpace page. The district had warned the student teacher to keep her personal Web pages free of references to students and teachers where she was doing her practicum. (Hat tip to NSBA’s Legal Clips, which has this background page on the case.)
Taxes Due: A federal appeals court has rejected the latest effort by a husband and wife to win tax deductions for their children’s tuition at Orthodox Jewish schools. Michael and Marla Sklar have long sought to get the deductions based on their arguments that the federal government has granted Church of Scientology members the right to deduct certain educational expenses, so they should get such benefits as well. A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, in San Francisco, unanimously upheld a decision of the U.S. Tax Court “holding that the tuition and fee payments to the Jewish Day Schools were not deductible under any of the Sklars’ theories.”
With that, I am headed for a holiday vacation. Barring any major legal decisions in education over the next two weeks, the School Law Blog will be back on Jan. 5.
A version of this news article first appeared in The School Law Blog.