Law & Courts

Education news, analysis, and opinion about court cases, lawsuits, and regulations affecting schools.
  • FILE — Arizona Republican Gov. Doug Ducey gives his state of the state address at the Arizona Capitol, Monday, Jan. 10, 2022, in Phoenix. Ducey sued the Biden administration, Friday, Jan. 21, 2022, over its demand that the state stop sending millions in federal COVID-19 relief money to schools that don't have mask requirements or that close due to COVID-19 outbreaks. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)
    Law & Courts Arizona Sues Biden to Keep School Anti-Mask Rules
    At issue are two state programs the Republican governor created last summer that use federal COVID-19 relief money.
    The Associated Press, January 24, 2022
    4 min read
    A man talks on his phone on the steps of Harvard University's Widener Library, in Cambridge, Mass. on June 26, 2020.
    The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to take up major cases on affirmative action in admissions at Harvard University, above, and at the University of North Carolina.
    Elise Amendola/AP
    Law & Courts U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Major Cases on Affirmative Action in Education
    The outcome could affect K-12 policies when the justices rule on race-based policies at Harvard and the University of North Carolina.
    Mark Walsh, January 24, 2022
    3 min read
    Former Bremerton High School assistant football coach Joe Kennedy is in a conflict with the Bremerton, 
Wash., school district over his silent prayer after games.
    Former Bremerton High School assistant football coach Joseph A. Kennedy stands at on the 50-yard line at Bremerton Memorial Stadium. The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear an appeal over his dismissal for praying after football games.
    Larry Steagall/Kitsap Sun via AP
    Law & Courts Supreme Court to Hear Case of Coach Who Prayed After Games in Defiance of School District
    The U.S. Supreme Court will consider whether school districts may prohibit private religious expression by public school employees.
    Mark Walsh, January 14, 2022
    4 min read
    Members of the Supreme Court pose for a group photo last April.
    The U.S. Supreme Court blocked a federal vaccine mandate for large employers, including school districts in about half the states.
    Erin Schaff/The New York Times via AP
    Law & Courts Supreme Court Blocks Biden Vaccine Mandate Applying to Schools in Much of the Country
    The justices ruled 6-3 to stay an Occupational Health and Safety Administration rule that covered schools in 26 states and two territories.
    Mark Walsh, January 13, 2022
    4 min read
    Scales of justice and Gavel on wooden table and Lawyer or Judge working with agreement in Courtroom, Justice and Law concept.
    Pattanaphong Khuankaew/iStock
    Law & Courts Students Lose Appeal on Right to Civics Education, But Win Praise From Judges Anyway
    A federal appellate court panel commended Rhode Island students for the novel effort, but said Supreme Court precedent stood in the way.
    Mark Walsh, January 12, 2022
    3 min read
    The Supreme Court shown Friday, Jan. 7, 2022, in Washington. The Supreme Court is taking up two major Biden administration efforts to bump up the nation's vaccination rate against COVID-19 at a time of spiking coronavirus cases because of the omicron variant.
    The U.S. Supreme Court is weighing two Biden administration efforts to bump up the nation's vaccination rate against COVID-19.
    Evan Vucci/AP
    Law & Courts High Court Appears Skeptical of Vaccine Mandate Covering Schools in Over Half the States
    The Biden administration's OSHA rule applies to private employers with 100 or more workers, as well as school districts in 26 states.
    Mark Walsh, January 7, 2022
    4 min read
    COVID face masks and gavel
    iStock/Getty Images Plus
    Law & Courts Federal Judge Blocks Biden's COVID Vaccine Mandate for Head Start Teachers
    In a challenge by 24 states, the judge's preliminary injunction also blocks a mask mandate for Head Start students age 2 or older.
    Mark Walsh, January 2, 2022
    4 min read
    Books packed up in a cardboard box.
    Patrick Daxenbichler/iStock/Getty
    Law & Courts Yanking Books From School Libraries: What the Supreme Court Has Said, and Why It's Murky
    A 1982 dispute involving a local school board offers plenty of parallels to the latest wave of book challenges involving race and gender.
    Mark Walsh, December 15, 2021
    11 min read
    From left, Amy and Olivia Carson pictured outside Bangor Christian School in Bangor, Maine on Nov. 5, 2021.
    Amy Carson, left, and her daughter, Olivia, stand outside Bangor Christian Schools in Maine in November, before their case went before the U.S. Supreme Court.
    Linda Coan O’Kresik for Education Week
    Law & Courts Religious Schools and State Aid: What to Glean From a Lively Supreme Court Argument
    Justices seem skeptical about Maine's exclusion of religious schools from tuition aid for students in towns without public high schools.
    Mark Walsh, December 8, 2021
    8 min read
    Crumpled Up Dollar Bill
    iStock/Getty Images Plus
    Law & Courts Supreme Court Weighs a Type of Damages Schools Can Face in Civil Rights Lawsuits
    The issue involves compensation for "emotional distress," and the case holds implications for suits brought under Title IX and other laws.
    Mark Walsh, November 30, 2021
    6 min read
    People hold signs and chant during a meeting of the North Allegheny School District school board regarding the district's mask policy, at at North Allegheny Senior High School in McCandless, Pa., on Aug. 25, 2021. A growing number of school board members across the U.S. are resigning or questioning their willingness to serve as meetings have devolved into shouting contests over contentious issues including masks in schools.
    People at a school board meeting in late August protest the mask policy set by the North Allegheny school district in Western Pennsylvania.
    Alexandra Wimley/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette via AP
    Law & Courts Opinion What the Law Says About Parents' Rights Over Schooling
    The rallying cry of “parental freedom” perpetuated racial segregation, writes a legal scholar. So why would we let it dictate curriculum?
    Joshua Weishart, November 29, 2021
    5 min read
    In this Feb. 15, 2018, file photo, law enforcement officers block off the entrance to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., following a deadly shooting at the school.
    In this Feb. 15, 2018, file photo, law enforcement officers block off the entrance to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., following a deadly shooting at the school.
    Wilfredo Lee/AP Photo
    Law & Courts Justice Dept. to Pay $127.5M to Parkland Massacre Victims' Families
    Attorneys for 16 of the 17 killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland said they had reached a confidential monetary settlement.
    Terry Spencer, Miami Herald, November 23, 2021
    2 min read
    The Carson family pictured outside Bangor Christian School in Bangor, Maine on Nov. 5, 2021.
    Institute for Justice senior attorney Michael E. Bindas, left, accompanies Amy and David Carson who flank their daughter, Olivia, outside Bangor Christian Schools in Maine in early November. The Carsons are one of two families seeking to make religious schools eligible for Maine's tuition program for students from towns without high schools.
    Linda Coan O’Kresik for Education Week
    Law & Courts Can Public Money Go to Religious Schools? A Divisive Supreme Court Case Awaits
    The justices will weigh Maine's exclusion of religious schools from its "tuitioning" program for students from towns without high schools.
    Mark Walsh, November 18, 2021
    13 min read
    Alex Jones speaks outside of the Dirksen Senate office building in Washington, D.C. on Sept. 5, 2018. The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday, April 5, 2021, declined to hear an appeal by the Infowars host and conspiracy theorist, who was fighting a Connecticut court sanction in a defamation lawsuit brought by relatives of some of the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.
    Alex Jones speaks outside of the Dirksen Senate office building in Washington, D.C. on Sept. 5, 2018.
    Jose Luis Magana/AP Photo
    Law & Courts Infowars' Alex Jones Ordered to Pay Damages to Sandy Hook Families in Defamation Lawsuits
    The Sandy Hook families will have an opportunity to present to a jury the extent to which Alex Jones' hoax claims harmed them.
    Zach Murdock, Hartford Courant, November 15, 2021
    5 min read
    Juliana Ramirez, 8, a third grader, often crawled into her closet to minimize distractions from her younger siblings when Zooming into school during lockdown last year.
    Juliana Ramirez, a 3rd grader, often crawled into her closet to minimize distractions from her younger siblings when Zooming into school during lockdown last year.
    Julia Robinson for Education Week
    Law & Courts In a Major Ruling on School Masks, Federal Judge Sides With Vulnerable Students
    The ruling that a Texas ban on mask mandates discriminated against students with disabilities could reverberate elsewhere.
    Evie Blad, November 11, 2021
    5 min read