Justia Education Law Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Supreme Court of Ohio
by
The Supreme Court granted a writ of mandamus ordering the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) to approve Relators' applications for Quality Community School Support (QCSS) grants and to pay them the amounts due under 2019 Am.Sub.H.B. No. 166 (H.B. 166), holding that Relators were entitled to the writ.Under the QCSS program, a community school that has met certain criteria would receive grant funding for the 2020-2021 and 2021-2011 fiscal years. Relators, twelve Horizon Science Academy community schools, had applied for QCSS grants, but ODE denied the applications, concluding that ODE was not "in good standing" as required by section 265.335 of H.B. 166. The ODE's determination was made on the grounds that the schools' operator was a foreign corporation not licensed with the Ohio secretary of state. The Supreme Court granted Relators' requested writ of mandamus, holding that ODE's interpretation of "in good standing" was incorrect. View "State ex rel. Horizon Science Academy of Lorain, Inc. v. Ohio Department of Education" on Justia Law

by
The Supreme Court denied the writ of mandamus sought by Andrew Frank to compel the production of public records from the Clermont County prosecuting attorney, holding that Frank did not show that he was entitled to the writ.Frank filed this original action seeking four specific items, including a "packet of information" sent to the Ohio State University Office of Student Life/Student Conduct (OSU), damages, costs and attorney fees. The prosecutor provided the records that had been sent to OSU, thereby mooting the primary claim in Frank's mandamus complaint. In a subsequent merit brief, Frank asserted that a writ of mandamus was necessary to compel the prosecutor to produce any additional responsive records that may exist. The Supreme Court denied the writ, holding (1) Frank failed to show that the prosecutor was currently withholding responsible documents; and (2) the prosecutor did not breach any obligation under the Public Records Act, and therefore, Frank was not entitled to attorney fees, statutory damages, or court costs. View "State ex rel. Frank v. Clermont County Prosecutor" on Justia Law

by
The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals finding that Ohio Rev. Code 3319.321(B), a provision of the Ohio Student Privacy Act (OSPA), prohibits disclosure of records pertaining to a deceased former public-school student in response to a public-records request, holding that the OSPA unambiguously forbids disclosure of the requested records.Appellants each submitted a public-records request to the school district of Bellbrook-Sugarcreek Local Schools (the school district) requesting school records related to Connor Betts, who killed nine people in a mass shooting in Dayton. Betts was a graduate of a high school that was part of the school district. When the school district denied the requests Appellants filed this action for a writ of mandamus, arguing that they had a clear legal right to inspect Betts's records under Ohio Rev. Code 149.43(B). The court of appeals denied the writ. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that section 3319.321(B) prohibits the disclosure of the records sought by Appellants. View "State ex rel. Cable News Network, Inc. v. Bellbrook-Sugarcreek Local Schools" on Justia Law

by
The Supreme Court denied the writ of mandamus sought by Andrew Frank to compel Ohio State University (OSU) to provide documents that Frank's attorney had requested in a public-records request, holding that OSU responded promptly and fully to the attorney's request and that Frank was not entitled to a writ of mandamus.The records in question were student records containing "personally identifiable information." The parties disputed whether the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act, 20 U.S.C. 1232g, applied to the requested records. The Supreme Court denied the writ of mandamus without reaching the issue, holding that OSU responded promptly and fully to the attorney's request and, therefore, Frank was not entitled to a writ of mandamus. View "State ex rel. Frank v. Ohio State University" on Justia Law

by
The Supreme Court held that 2015 Am.Sub.H.B. No. 70 (H.B. 70) does not usurp the power of city school boards in violation of Ohio Const. art. VI, 3, and the bill received sufficient consideration for purposes of Ohio Const. art. II, 15(C).The purpose of H.B. 70 was to enact new sections within Ohio Rev. Code Chapter 3302 to authorize community schools and school districts to create community learning centers at schools where academic performance was low. After the bill was signed into law, Appellants moved for a declaratory judgment and permanent injunction, arguing that H.B. 70 was unconstitutional, as was the General Assembly's legislative process in enacting it. The trial court denied the motion for preliminary injunction and declaratory judgment, and the court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the enactment of H.B. 70 violated neither the three-consideration rule articulated in Article II, Section 15(C) nor the right of voters to decide the number of members and the organization of the district board of education, as guaranteed by Article VI, Section 3. View "Youngstown City School District Board of Education v. State" on Justia Law

by
The Supreme Court denied a writ of prohibition sought by the Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) to prohibit Judge Robert Ruehlman from taking further action in a lawsuit filed against it in the Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas, holding that Judge Ruehlman did not patently and unambiguously lack jurisdiction.After the OHSAA adopted new rules governing postseason competitions Judge Ruehlman granted a temporary restraining order enjoining the application of the rules in cases where the high school enrolled a student who attended seventh and eighth grades at one of its traditional Catholic Feeder Schools. The OHSAA then filed this action to prevent Judge Ruehlman from taking further action in the case and to order him to vacate the temporary restraining order. The Supreme Court denied the writ, holding that the subject matter of this dispute fell within the jurisdiction granted by the Ohio Constitution and Revised Code to the Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas and that Judge Ruehlman properly exercised the subject-matter jurisdiction of the Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas. View "Ohio High School Athletic Ass'n v. Ruehlman" on Justia Law

by
The Supreme Court denied the writ of mandamus sought by Relator to compel Kent State University to comply with her records request under Ohio Rev. Code 149.43, holding that Relator was not entitled to additional records beyond those that she had already received pursuant to her request.After Kent State responded to Relator’s records request, Relator filed this mandamus complaint. Following the complaint, Kent State provided additional records. The Supreme Court denied relief, holding that Kent State did not fail to uphold its duties under section 149.43. The Court granted Relator an award of statutory damages in the amount of $1,000 and granted Relator’s request for reasonable attorney fees but denied her request for court costs. View "State ex rel. Kesterson v. Kent State University" on Justia Law

by
The Supreme Court denied the writ of mandamus sought by Relator seeking to compel Kent State University with certain records regarding student-athletes under the Public Records Act, Ohio Rev. Code 149.43, holding that Relator failed to show by clear and convincing evidence that Kent State failed fully to respond to her records request.Kent State provided several hundred pages of records in response to Relator’s records request. Relator later filed her mandamus complaint alleging that Kent State failed fully to respond to her request. The Supreme Court denied relief, holding (1) despite Kent State’s failure fro comply with Relator’s request within a reasonable period of time, Kent State’s eventual production of all the requested records rendered Relator’s mandamus claim moot; and (2) Relator was entitled to $1,000 in statutory damages and reasonable attorney fees but was not entitled to an award of court costs. View "State ex rel. Kesterson v. Kent State University" on Justia Law

by
The Supreme Court held that Ohio Rev. Code 3314.08 authorizes the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) to base funding of an Internet-based community school - or e-school - on the duration of student participation.The Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT), Ohio’s largest e-school, sought a permanent injunction and declaratory judgment seeking to bar ODE from requesting or considering data showing the duration of a student’s participation during its review of the e-school. The trial court denied ECOT’s claims, and the court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that section 3314.08 is unambiguous and does not bar the ODE from calculating funding based on a student’s participation. View "Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow v. Ohio Department of Education" on Justia Law

by
The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals dismissing the petition of Appellant for a writ of mandamus against the Ohio Adult Parole Authority (APA). In his petition, Appellant argued that he had received multiple punishments for the same parole violation in violation of the Double Jeopardy Clause. The court of appeals dismissed the action, ruling that Appellant ha not received multiple punishments and that Appellant had failed to demonstrate any constitutional injury. The Supreme Court denied Appellant’s motion for leave to supplement his reply brief and affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals, holding (1) double jeopardy protections were not violated by the sanctions imposed for Appellant’s parole violation; and (2) the APA did not violate Appellant’s due process rights by holding a parole hearing after his parole officer had imposed sanctions against him. View "Clark v. Adult Parole Authority" on Justia Law