Webinar Presented by Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane Education Partners
On March 31, 2020, Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP, partners Mary Ellen Sowyrda and Alisia St. Florian held a well attended virtual meeting to review the current DESE guidance. MHTL’s virtual meeting took place following the March 26, 2020, virtual meeting with Russell Johnston, the Senior Associate Commissioner of the Center for District Support at the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Johnston’s meeting issued guidance from the Commissioner of Education as well as FAQ’s.
Attorneys Sowyrda and St. Florian discussed the FAQ’s handed down from DESE along with their expert outlook on how schools can confront these issues going forward. Sowyrda and St. Florian also discussed documenting all communication sent to students and parents while schools are closed. Privacy/confidentiality issues were also addressed as communicating with parents during school closure will take place virtually or over the phone as a result of COVID-19. As stated by St. Florian; “the ability to engage with clients through the chat function resulted in a productive exchange of questions and answers. I look forward to scheduling more virtual meetings as new information and guidance is issued by DESE.”
Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane LLP has an extensive education law practice representing more than one hundred and eighty public, private and nonprofit educational institutions from pre-K through the college and university level.The firm is also known throughout New England for its labor and employment practice as well as its expansive municipal law practice.
The MCLE (Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education) sponsored an eLecture where Mary Ellen Sowyrda, a partner with Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP, presented. Alongside Ms. Sowyrda was Daniel Ahearn, Esq., and Marlies Spanjaard from the Committee for Public Counsel Services. Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), school authorities are required to conduct Manifestation Determination when it comes to discipling a student with disabilities. Their presentation, titled “How to Handle Manifestation Determination Reviews for Students with Disabilities”, focused Read More
On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act (“ARPA”) which provides for a $1.9 trillion economic stimulus package. State and local governments, and also many educational entities, will receive substantial funding. Having endured the last year of the global COVID-19 pandemic, both states and local governments, as well as schools, have experienced unexpected expenses, losses in revenues, and budgetary burdens. The purpose of this Client Alert is to explain generally how funds from the ARPA relief aid have been designated to alleviate those COVID-19-related challenges.