Calling All Volunteers – Read With Lawyers for Literacy!

Kim, a white woman with short brown hair, wears a black dress and a multi-colored beaded necklace. By Kimberly R. Davis

Did you know that October and November are “education” months? National Learning and Development Month is celebrated each October, and November is National Education Month. Both of these months focus on the importance of supporting education and learning and provide unique opportunities to get involved within your local education community. One activity that is available is volunteering to read to elementary school-aged children who need assistance meeting their reading goals.

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Education Section Update

Kris CaudleBy Kris Caudle

The Education Section has been busy in April! On April 7, the Education Section held its final Regular Meeting of the year in Raleigh at Tharrington Smith LLP, and its Annual Meeting at Whiskey Kitchen. On April 8, the Education Section also held its annual CLE program at the Bar Center. Thanks to everyone who helped make these events a success, especially our CLE Committee co-chairs Collins Saint, Maura O’Keefe, Keir Morton-Manley, Rebecca Williams, and Grace Pennerat.

New Officers & Council Members

At this year’s annual meeting, the Education Section Council voted to approve the following section members for service on the Education Section Council.

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Disaster Legal Services – Request for Volunteers

Collins is a person who has red hair and is wearing a red blouse and black jacket.By Collins Saint

The NCBA’s YLD coordinates the North Carolina Disaster Legal Services effort in partnership with the YLD of the American Bar Association, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Legal Aid of North Carolina. The DLS pro bono program provides disaster-related resources and services to the public and attorneys with the support of the North Carolina Bar Foundation.

FEMA has just issued a disaster declaration that allows for assistance to be provided to Tropical Storm Fred affected residents in Buncombe, Haywood and Transylvania counties.

For more information, visit the sign-up form.

Education Section – Welcome!

By Kris Caudle

Dear Members of the Education Law Section:

Welcome to the 2021-22 bar year! I look forward to working with you, our Council members, and committee chairs this year, and I want to thank our committee chairs for volunteering their time to invest in our section.

My hope is that everyone will take the chance to get involved in the section. Among other activities, our section has committees for CLE planning, LIFT (Law Institute for Teachers), and legislative updates. Our great committee chairs would welcome your help. If you are interested in assisting with a committee, please let me know and I would be happy to connect you with the committee chair.

One of my goals this year is to make our section more visible to other sections of the NCBA and the public. To that end, I hope to promote more collaboration with law students interested in our practice area. If you have ideas for blog posts, networking events (in-person or virtual) or collaboration with the public, please do not hesitate to contact me with suggestions.

On Campus or Off Campus – That is Still the Question: Mahoney Area Sch. Dist. v. B.L. and the Supreme Court’s New Digital Frontier

By Kristopher L. Caudle

On campus or off campus – that is still the question for school officials following the Supreme Court’s recent First Amendment opinion: Mahoney Area School District v. B.L., 594 U.S. ___, 141 S. Ct 2038, 2021 U.S. LEXIS 3395 (2021). For more than 50 years, the Supreme Court has managed to balance two competing First Amendment principles: (1) that a student does not shed all of their free speech rights at the “schoolhouse gate,” and (2) that public school officials have a special interest in regulating certain aspects of student speech that may cause a material and substantial disruption to the school environment. See Tinker v. Des Moines, 393 U.S. 503, 506-07 (1969).

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Education Law Section Nominations

By Brandon McPherson

Dear Education Law Section Members:

The Education Law Section Nominations Committee seeks nominations for individuals to serve as members of the Education Law Section Council. Council members govern the section and help define its priorities and strategies.

Council members must be able to serve a three (3) year term and must be willing to attend quarterly (currently virtual) meetings. The section is seeking members who can actively participate, such as by serving on a Committee, and who want to work for the betterment of the section, the NCBA, the public, and the legal profession. At the same time, the council understands the needs of busy professionals and actively works to accommodate that. Each candidate must be a member of the Education Law Section in good standing.

Feel free to nominate yourself or someone else if this sounds like a good fit! Each candidate will be considered by the Nominations Committee for inclusion in a slate that will be submitted to the section for election at its Annual Meeting on April 14, 2021.

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2020 Short Session Education Legislation

By Brian Gwyn

The General Assembly convened its short session on April 28, 2020, and adjourned sine die on Thursday, September 3. This means any additional legislative sessions for the year would require either the Governor to call the legislature back in session or three-fifths of the legislators in each chamber to request to come back for an extra session.

This blog post reflects legislation ratified before September 2, 2020, so it does not include information on S.L. 2020-97 (HB 1005). Click here for more information about the provisions of that bill.


S.L. 2020-3 (SB 704) (COVID-19 Recovery Act)

Addresses statutory issues that had to be temporarily modified due to COVID-19, such as the school calendar, standardized testing, and licensure issues.

S.L. 2020-4 (HB 1043) (2020 COVID-19 Recovery Act)

Appropriates funds for COVID-19 support including school nutrition services, a supplemental summer learning program, and electronic devices to support student learning. Read more

The CARES Act Carousel: States and LEAs Sue to Enjoin Implementation of Interim Final Rule Governing Distribution of COVID-19 Funds

By Kristopher L. Caudle

On July 7, 2020, several states and boards of education around the country filed a federal lawsuit in the Northern District of California challenging the U.S. Department of Education’s (“Department”) new Interim Final Rule (34 C.F.R. § 76.665) governing distribution of funds provided by Congress under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (“CARES” Act).[1]

The CARES Act was enacted in March of 2020 to, among other things, provide emergency relief to states and local government entities, including Local Education Agencies (“LEAs”) impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The CARES Act requires that LEAs receiving funds under the CARES Act provide equitable services “in the same manner” as provided under section 1117 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (“ESEA”).[2]

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Fight Hunger, Help Others in the COVID-19 Pandemic – Participate in the Legal Feeding Frenzy and Support Your Local Food Bank!

Michele Livingstone

Will Quick

By Michele Livingstone and Will Quick

We are in unprecedented times with COVID-19 (Coronavirus).  It is now more important than ever that we help our neighbors and those who are not as fortunate. I am confident that each of you is doing your part.

Even in the best of times, however, over 1.5 Million North Carolinians struggle with hunger—of those, nearly half a million are children. With public schools and many religious and nonprofit organizations that traditionally serve the food insecure in our communities being closed for indefinite periods, and government leaders calling for social distancing to help limit the spread of Coronavirus, that need is never more pressing than now.

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2019 Legislative Summary – A Resource for Education Attorneys

By Brian Gwyn

The Legislative Analysis Division of the General Assembly has now published its annual Summaries of Substantive Ratified Legislation for 2019. This publication includes:

by subject area, summaries for the final edition of all substantive legislation of general applicability and certain local legislation having general import. The summaries are prepared by the nonpartisan legislative staff and do not constitute an official statement of legislative intent.

The summaries include session laws as well as ratified legislation. Chaptered session laws (i.e. SL 2019-51) have the force of law, but if the bill was only ratified, that means it passed both chambers of the General Assembly but did not receive approval of the Governor (and the Governor’s veto was not overridden).

Summaries can be viewed individually or together by subject area.

A link to the summaries specifically related to education may be found here.