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Thomas R. Manniello

Partner | Monterey

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Tel: 831.646.1501
Fax: 831.646.1801
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Thomas R. Manniello is a Partner in Lozano Smith's Monterey office. His practice focuses on employment and student matters.

Mr. Manniello assists school districts with collective bargaining, employee discipline, layoffs, grievances and general personnel issues. He has extensive experience with CalPERS and CalSTRS issues, executive compensation issues, employee benefit plans, post-retirement benefits and early retirement incentive options.

In student matters, Mr. Manniello assists school districts with student discipline, students' rights to freedom of speech and freedom of the press, disruptive parents, field trip liability, student organizations, residency and transfer issues. His work covers all areas of student discipline matters including search and seizure and other student investigation issues, expulsion hearings and appeals, and readmission of expelled students. Mr. Manniello regularly provides training for clients on these subjects.

Presenter Experience

Mr. Manniello is highly sought as a presenter on education law issues throughout California. He is a frequent presenter at events organized by Association for California School Administrators (ACSA), California School Boards Association (CSBA) and various county offices of education on student, labor and employee benefit issues.


He is a member of the California Bar Association and is admitted to practice in all California courts, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.


Mr. Manniello earned his J.D. from Hastings College of the Law in 1997 and a B.S. in Finance from California State University, San Jose, in 1993.

School Resource Officers Try to Teach Students a Lesson – and It Backfires

By: Thomas MannielloMarisa Montenegro-

November 2018 Number 77 In Scott v. County of San Bernardino (9th Cir.) 903 F.3d 943, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a district court's summary judgment in favor of three students in an action alleging that two Sheriff's deputies arrested a group of middle school students in violation of their Fourth Amendment rights and state law. The group of female students were handcuffed, arrested, and transported to the Sheriff's station after a series of bullying and assault incidents ...

New Law Requires Paid Time Off for Union Stewards and Officers

By: Thomas MannielloNiki Nabavi Nouri-

October 2018 Number 65 Effective January 1, 2019, Senate Bill (SB) 1085 requires public agency employers in California to grant, upon the request of a union, "reasonable" paid leaves of absence to employees serving as stewards or officers of the union or of any statewide or national employee organization with which the union is affiliated. While on such leave, employees must suffer no loss of compensation or benefits and retain reinstatement rights, meaning they have the right to return to ...

Ninth Circuit Shoots Down Challenge to Law Prohibiting Concealed-Carry Permit Holders from Possessing Firearms on School Property

By: Thomas MannielloTilman Heyer-

September 2018 Number 46 In Gallinger v. Becerra, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a challenge to a 2015 change to California's Gun-Free School Zone Act that removed an exemption allowing concealed-carry permit holders to carry firearms on school grounds, but maintained the same exemption for retired peace officers. The Ninth Circuit held that lawmakers had a rational basis for approving this change, effected by Senate Bill (SB) 707, and also that the partial elimination of ...

Retiree Work Hour Limitation Suspended for Fire and Mudslide Response Work

By: Thomas Manniello-

February 2018 Number 4 Governor Jerry Brown has suspended the 960-hour per year work hour limit for retired annuitants who assist California counties battling fires and mudslides. CalPERS announced Brown's suspension of the rule in a January 29 Circular Letter. Governor Brown issued a pair of executive orders lifting the work hour limit and other rules in an effort to expedite hiring of emergency workers and to streamline the recovery of communities devastated by the disasters. In addi...

New Laws Impact Employers' CalPERS Obligations

By: Thomas MannielloErin Hamor-

December 2017 Number 79 Governor Jerry Brown has signed three bills that significantly impact local agency obligations to the California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) and impose penalties on employers running afoul of the law. Each of these bills will take effect on January 1, 2018. Assembly Bill 1309: CalPERS May Fine Employers for Failing to Report Hiring and Payroll Data when Employing Retired Annuitants Under Assembly Bill (AB) 1309, CalPERS may now fine employer...

New Laws Ease Residency and Coursework Requirements for Children of Active Duty Military Personnel

By: Thomas MannielloKyle Raney-

November 2017 Number 77 A pair of new laws intended to ease residency and coursework requirements for students in military families will go into effect on January 1, 2018. Senate Bill (SB) 455 expands on prior legislation to permit students whose parents are on active duty military orders to remotely enroll in school, while Assembly Bill (AB) 365 extends coursework exemptions for other groups of transient students to children of active duty members of the military. SB 455: Updated Resi...

New Law Removes Restriction on Funding Student Field Trips

By: Thomas MannielloLeila Alamri-Kassim-

July 2017 Number 43 A bill signed by Governor Jerry Brown on July 10 allows school districts to pay the expenses of students participating in field trips or excursions to other states, the District of Columbia or a foreign country. Assembly Bill (AB) 341 goes into effect on January 1, 2018. Education Code section 35330(b)(3) currently prohibits the use of school district funds to pay the expenses of a student participating in a field trip or excursion to any other state, the District o...

Proposed Amendments to CalSTRS Creditable Compensation Regulations Have LCAP Implications

By: Thomas Manniello-

May 2017 Number 26 Proposed amendments to the California State Teachers' Retirement System (CalSTRS) creditable compensation regulations would allow employers to establish a class of employees based upon employment in a program established under a Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP). The proposed amendments modify the CalSTRS creditable compensation regulations that came into effect on January 1, 2015. CalSTRS member benefits are based in part on the "creditable compensation" ...

Meet-and-Confer Requirement Does Not Apply to Pension Reform Measure Placed on Ballot through Voter Initiative Process

By: Thomas Manniello-

April 2017 Number 20 In Boling v. Public Employment Relations Board (Apr. 11, 2017, D069626) ___ Cal.App.4th ___ (Boling), the Fourth District Court of Appeal invalidated a decision by the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) holding that a city council violated the Meyers-Milias-Brown Act (MMBA) by placing a voter initiative to amend the city's charter on the ballot without first meeting and conferring with the unions representing affected city employees. In doing so, the court rejec...

Supreme Court Returns Transgender Student Rights Case to Lower Court

By: Thomas Manniello-

March 2017 On March 6, 2017, the United States Supreme Court sent the case of Virginia transgender high school student Gavin Grimm back to an appellate court, which must now consider the case and the parties' arguments "in light of the guidance document issued by the Department of Education and Department of Justice on February 22, 2017" that rescinded the Obama administration's May 2016 guidance on transgender student rights and facilities access. (Gloucester County School Board v. G.G. (...

Student Walkouts: Free Speech Rights vs. Truancy Rules

By: Sloan SimmonsThomas Manniello-

November 2016 Following this week's national election, school officials around the state have been faced with threatened or actual student walkouts. Generally speaking, California law and the United States Constitution prohibit school officials from limiting student speech and expression on school grounds unless it does or is reasonably forecast to substantially disrupt the educational environment, or is otherwise lewd, vulgar, obscene, or plainly offensive. This raises the question of whe...

Governor Signs Three Student Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Bills

By: Thomas Manniello-

October 2016 Number 77 Governor Jerry Brown recently signed three Assembly bills related to student health emergency preparedness and response in school districts and charter schools. Assembly Bill (AB) 1719 requires any school district or charter school whose graduation requirements include a health education course to include compression-only cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) instruction. AB 1748 authorizes school districts, county offices of education and charter schools to obtain...

Discipline for Cyber Bullying Gets an Upgrade

By: Thomas Manniello-

October 2016 Number 73 On September 21, 2016, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law two new bills that will become effective January 1, 2017, amending sections 234.2 and 48900 of the Education Code relating to cyber bullying. The new laws expressly include video as an electronic means by which bullying can occur. Students can now also be suspended or expelled if "cyber sexual bullying" is committed, and local education agencies are encouraged to inform students that information and reso...

Court of Appeal Confirms that CalPERS Members Must Have Base Salary Listed on Publicly Available Pay Schedule

By: Thomas Manniello-

August 2016 Number 51 A California appeals court has affirmed earlier rulings that retirement benefits under the California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) may only be based on salaries listed on publicly available pay schedules. In June, the California Court of Appeal, Third District upheld a CalPERS decision that significantly reduced the retirement benefits of the City of Vallejo's former city manager. (Tanner v. California Public Employees' Retirement System (June 28, 20...

California Decides Not to Require Public School Choice Transfers Under ESSA

By: Thomas Manniello-

July 2016 Number 41 Under Title I the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965, as reauthorized by the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) in 2001, schools that failed to demonstrate sufficient annual progress toward established academic proficiency goals fell into program improvement (PI) status and were required to offer students transfers to other non-PI schools in or outside of the district. Such NCLB-driven transfers are commonly referred to as "public school choice" transfe...

Amidst Nationwide Media Coverage, U.S. Departments of Education and Justice Issue Joint Guidance Regarding Transgender Student Rights in Schools

By: Sloan SimmonsThomas Manniello-

May 2016 Number 31 On May 13, the United States Departments of Education and Justice issued joint guidance to the nation's schools regarding the Departments' interpretation of transgender students' rights under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (20 U.S.C. § 1681 et seq.) and Title IX's implementing regulations. The joint guidance addresses various aspects of transgender students' rights under Title IX, including their rights to use school facilities and participate in ath...

California Department of Education Issues Guidance Regarding the Application of California’s Antidiscrimination Statutes to Transgender Youth in Schools

By: Thomas Manniello-

March 2016 Number 16 The California Department of Education (CDE) recently issued guidance regarding Assembly Bill (AB) 1266. This bill, effective January 1, 2014, amended the Education Code to require that students be permitted to: (1) participate in sex-segregated school programs and activities, including athletic teams and competitions; and (2) use facilities consistent with their gender identity regardless of the gender assigned at birth. The term "gender identity" refers to a person'...

Governor Signs CalSTRS Sponsored Legislation Grandfathering CalSTRS Enrollees Into the System, Providing Option to Change Retirement Systems and Revising the Definition of Creditable Service

By: Michael SmithThomas Manniello-

February 2016 Number 6 On January 1, 2016 Assembly Bill (AB) 963, a CalSTRS-sponsored bill addressing creditable service issues, became law. With the law now in final form, this Client News Brief updates our Client News Brief No. 26, April 2015. AB 963 accomplishes four goals:The bill "grandfathers" in all service that did not meet the definition of creditable service in place at the time but was reported to CalSTRS anyway on or before December 31, 2015. The bill allows members who are gran...

Recent Legislation Addresses Cheerleading, District Training Requirements to Protect Students, and Changes to the Uniform Complaint Procedures

By: Thomas MannielloJennifer Baldassari-

November 2015 Number 70 In October 2015, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law five new bills that all go into effect January 1, 2016, enacting important changes to the Education Code on issues affecting student rights and services. These bills address mandatory training for school counselors, classification of competition cheerleading as a sport, additions to the Safe Place to Learn Act, guidance regarding child abuse and training, and an expansion of the Uniform Complaint Procedures to c...

Referendum to Repeal Immunization Bill Fails to Qualify for Ballot

By: Thomas Manniello-

November 2015 Number 67 A referendum that would have repealed Senate Bill (SB) 277, which eliminates personal belief and religious exemptions for school vaccine requirements, recently failed to qualify for the November 2016 ballot. This means that SB 277 will go into effect on January 1, 2016, although its requirements do not fully take effect until July 1, 2016. As previously reported (See Client News Brief No. 36, July 2015), SB 277 was signed into law on June 30, 2015, and became th...

New Requirements for Nonvoting and Preferential Voting Pupil Board Members

By: Thomas Manniello-

October 2015 Number 62 Effective January 1, 2016, Senate Bill (SB) 532 reinforces pupil governing board memberships. Applicable only to school districts that operate a high school, SB 532 requires that:Upon receipt of a petition, the governing board must appoint a qualified pupil petitioner to the board within 60 days of receipt of the petition or at the next regularly scheduled board meeting if no meeting is held within 60 days; and In order to remove the nonvoting or preferential vo...

New Requirements for Nonvoting and Preferential Voting Pupil Board Members

By: Thomas Manniello-

October 2015 Number 62 Effective January 1, 2016, Senate Bill (SB) 532 reinforces pupil governing board memberships. Applicable only to school districts that operate a high school, SB 532 requires that:Upon receipt of a petition, the governing board must appoint a qualified pupil petitioner to the board within 60 days of receipt of the petition or at the next regularly scheduled board meeting if no meeting is held within 60 days; and In order to remove the nonvoting or preferential vo...

CalSTRS Employer Information Circular Provides Helpful Reminders of Common Reporting Errors

By: Michael SmithThomas Manniello-

October 2015 Number 53 CalSTRS recently issued an Employer Information Circular (EIC) containing important reminders of common errors leading to negative audit findings for school districts, county offices of education and community colleges. The EIC addresses proper reporting for special compensation and clarifies that extra-duty compensation must be reported separately from special compensation. For example, off-schedule bonuses or advanced degree pay are reported differently than co...

Cyberbullying: New Bill Confirms that Students May be Disciplined for Either Creating or Sending Electronic Bullying Content

By: Thomas Manniello-

July 2015 Number 39 Addressing an inadvertent drafting error in prior legislation, a new bill was recently signed by Governor Brown that clarifies that a student may be disciplined for either the creation or transmission of electronic bullying content while on or off of school grounds. Assembly Bill (AB) 881, effective January 1, 2016, further amends the definition of "electronic act" in Education Code section 48900 by changing the phrase "creation and transmission" to "creation or transm...

CalSTRS Sponsors Legislation Grandfathering CalSTRS Enrollees Into the System and Revising The Definition of Creditable Service

By: Michael SmithThomas Manniello-

April 2015 Number 26 New changes are once again on the horizon for CalSTRS enrollment. A new bill amending the definition of "creditable service" for the CalSTRS system will be considered by the legislature in the coming months. Retirement benefits under the Defined Benefit Plan administered by CalSTRS are calculated using a member's years of creditable service, age at retirement, and final compensation. However, compensation is reported to CalSTRS only if paid for work that constitutes "...

With CalSTRS' New Creditable Compensation Regulations in Effect - Opportunity to Restructure Administrator Employment Contracts by December 31, 2015

By: Michael SmithThomas Manniello-

April 2015 Number 21 The CalSTRS creditable compensation regulations adopted this past September officially came into force January 1, 2015. The new regulations define creditable compensation for CalSTRS members who entered the public retirement system prior to January 1, 2013 (i.e., "classic" or "2% at 60" members). The regulations prescribe new rules governing which forms of compensation count for the Defined Benefit program as opposed to the Defined Benefit Supplement account, thereby ...

Student Plaintiffs Seek Review by the United States Supreme Court in American Flag T-Shirt and Student Free Speech Case

By: Sloan SimmonsThomas Manniello-

February 2015 Number 7 As reported by Lozano Smith in March 2014, in February of last year the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its original ruling in Dariano v. Morgan Hill Unified School District, a case that posed the question of whether an administrator violated students' constitutional rights by requiring them to remove American flag clothing on Cinco de Mayo. In its original opinion, the Ninth Circuit held that the administrators did not violate the students' free speech...

OCR Issues New Guidance Regarding Single-Sex Classes

By: Thomas Manniello-

December 2014 Number 94 The U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) recently released new guidance on the requirements applicable to single-sex classes in federally funded educational programs. Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 generally prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in federally funded schools. However, single-sex classes may be permissible when the requirements of the Department of Education's Title IX regulations are met. OCR's new guidanc...

Court Ruling Requires Greater Scrutiny of Language Census Reporting by Districts

By: Thomas MannielloSteve Ngo-

October 2014 Number 73 A court recently held that a school district's report of its Language Census data is subject to greater scrutiny if the report shows that English Learners have not received appropriate instructional services. In D.J. et al. v. State of California, et al. (Super. Ct. L.A. County, September 16, 2014, No. BS142775), the plaintiffs alleged that the State violated the California Constitution's Equal Protection clause and the federal Equal Educational Opportunities Act...

New Law Limits Suspensions and Expulsions for 'Willful Defiance' and 'Disruption'

By: Thomas Manniello-

October 2014 Number 72 Governor Brown signed into law Assembly Bill (AB) 420, which limits school districts' ability to suspend and prohibits districts from expelling a student for disrupting school activities or committing an act of willful defiance. AB 420 amends Education Code section 48900, subdivision (k), which provides that a student may be suspended or expelled if they "disrupted school activities or otherwise willfully defied the valid authority of supervisors, teachers, admi...

New Law Establishes Preemptive Solution to School Bullying

By: Thomas MannielloRegina Garza-

September 2014 Number 70 Governor Brown recently signed into law Assembly Bill (AB) 1993 which requires the California Department of Education to develop an online training module to assist all school staff, school administrators, parents, pupils, and community members in increasing their knowledge of bullying and cyberbullying. The law becomes effective January 1, 2015, however no time frame is specified for the California Department of Education to complete the training module. AB 19...

CalSTRS Issues New Creditable Compensation Regulations - Impact Will Be Felt at Bargaining Table & in Administrator Contracts

By: Michael SmithThomas Manniello-

September 2014 Number 55 The long-awaited CalSTRS creditable compensation regulations were adopted by the CalSTRS Board on September 4, 2014. The new regulations govern how CalSTRS will treat various forms of compensation for CalSTRS members who entered the system prior to January 1, 2013 (these members are usually referred to as "classic" or "2% at 60" members). The regulations take effect January 1, 2015. The use of formal regulations to provide guidance on the treatment of compensat...

Governor Signs Bills Regarding Mandated Reporting and Interdistrict Attendance

By: Thomas MannielloMaryn Oyoung-

July 2014 Number 40 On July 9, 2014, the Governor signed two Assembly Bills (AB) into law on student-related issues. AB 2560 clarifies the state's mandated reporting requirements and AB 1851 extends the sunset date of the law that allows certain county boards of education to have a longer period of time to decide interdistrict transfer appeals. AB 2560: Mandated Reporting All school district teachers and employees are "mandated reporters" under California's child abuse and prevent...

U.S. Department of Education Issues Guidance Regarding Maintaining Student Privacy While Using Online Educational Services

By: Thomas Manniello-

March 2014 Number 18 On February 25, 2014, the United States Department of Education's Privacy Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) published guidance regarding protecting the confidentiality of student information when using online educational services. According to PTAC, the growing use of interactive and online teaching methods brings with it the challenges of ensuring that school districts protect private student information when the internet, technology, and third parties are involved....

Local Educational Agencies Must Disseminate New Guidance on How to Recognize and Report Child Abuse

By: Thomas MannielloManuel Martinez-

March 2014 Number 17 In an effort to promote student safety, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson recently issued revised "Child Abuse Reporting Procedures for Parents and Guardians." These new guidelines educate parents on the types of injuries that should be reported to local authorities as a result of suspected child abuse or neglect. The guidelines also address the types of injuries that are not considered "child abuse" under the law. Under the new guidelines, p...

CalSTRS Election Remedy - CalSTRS Issues Clarifying e-Bulletin

By: Michael SmithThomas Manniello-

February 2014 Number 13 As specified in the November 25, 2013 Employer Information Circular, CalSTRS is currently allowing employers to use the employer correction statute (Education Code § 22308) to file an election form with a retroactive effective date. The retroactive election is allowed for any employee who was eligible to make such an election in the past but failed to do so because the employer did not provide the employee with the necessary information regarding his or her el...

CalSTRS Election Remedy - Frequently Asked Questions

By: Michael SmithThomas Manniello-

January 2014 Number 9 Lozano Smith has continued to coordinate with ACSA, CASBO and other administrative associations for K-12 and community college administrators regarding the steps that school districts and community colleges should take in response to the August 29, 2012 CalSTRS Circular Letter raising questions about the creditable service of employees in certain administrative positions. CalSTRS publication of a second Circular Letter on November 25, 2013 provided useful guidance...

Recent Federal Guidance Details Expectations Regarding Non-Discriminatory Student Discipline

By: Thomas Manniello-

January 2014 Number 7 The U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, and the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights (OCR), issued a "Dear Colleague" letter (Letter) on January 8, 2014, guiding schools on administering student discipline without discriminating against students on the basis of race, color or national origin. The Dear Colleague letter is available here. While "Dear Colleague" letters are non-binding, they communicate details regarding expectations and ...

Creditable Service Election Remedy Now Available From CalSTRS

By: Michael SmithThomas Manniello-

November 2013 Number 82 Today (November 25, 2013) CalSTRS issued a new Circular Vol. 29, Issue 3 - "Right of Retirement System Election When Changing Positions," allowing any CalSTRS member who believes that they are, or may have been, employed in a position that is not clearly eligible for CalSTRS membership to have their employer file an election form (ES372) within 180 days in order to ensure that all of their service counts as creditable for retirement purposes. This remedy comes i...

Lozano Smith-ACSA Joint Alert -
Election Remedy for CalSTRS Creditable Service Issue Forthcoming

By: Michael SmithThomas Manniello-

November 2013 Number 80 On August 29, 2012, CalSTRS issued an Employer Information Circular entitled "Positions Not Eligible for Creditable Service." This Circular identified several positions as not being eligible for CalSTRS, including "Director of Human Resources." This Circular gave rise to a wave of uncertainty and angst regarding whether many positions previously considered certificated positions were, in fact, improperly reported to CalSTRS. This Circular followed a CalSTRS audit o...

Cyberbullying: New Bill Confirms Schools' Authority to Discipline for Bullying Taking Place Off Campus by "Electronic Act" in Certain Instances

By: Thomas Manniello-

October 2013 Number 77 Effective January 1, 2014, Assembly Bill (AB) 256 amends the definition of "electronic act" to make it clear that bullying can include electronic conduct occurring both on and off campus. AB 256 provides helpful statutory direction that has been missing from Education Code section 48900 since bullying was first added in 2009. Importantly, however, AB 256 does not automatically grant schools jurisdiction to discipline students for such off campus conduct or expressio...

New Law Simplifies the Process for Changing Gender and Name on Birth Certificates

By: Thomas MannielloAimee Perry-

October 2013 Number 71 Assembly Bill (AB) 1121, which was signed by the Governor on October 8, 2013, affects the procedures for persons to legally change their gender and name via court order. The new law takes effect January 1, 2014. Change of Gender Under existing law, any person who undergoes a clinically appropriate treatment for the purpose of gender transition may petition the court for a judgment and court order recognizing their change of gender. The person seeking to have the...

CalSTRS Update: What Compensation Counts for Retirement?
What Service is Considered Creditable?

By: Thomas MannielloMichael Smith-

October 2013 Number 63 The pension reform movement has now moved into the era of pension accountability. With the passage of the Public Employee Pension Reform Act and "clean up" legislation, CalSTRS is in the process of clarifying what compensation will count for a member's Defined Benefit Program and what compensation will be rolled over into a member's Defined Benefit Supplement Program. In addition, CalSTRS is working to provide guidance on what service is creditable. A member's reti...

Back to School Legal Update: bullying

By: Thomas MannielloAimee Perry-

September 2013 Number 56 As students head back to school for the start of the new school year, Lozano Smith's Special Education and Student Practice Groups would like to provide school districts, and other local educational agencies, with a reminder of their obligations to prevent bullying among all students. As many educators are aware, bullying has been a hot topic for the last few years, and the law in this area is ever-developing. In the past two years, the legislature has passed seve...

Education Code Revised to Extend Pupil Rights in Sex-Segregated School Programs, Facilities and Activities

By: Thomas Manniello-

August 2013 Number 47 On August 12, 2013, Governor Brown signed into law Assembly Bill (AB) 1266, which amends the Education Code regarding prohibited discrimination in public schools and requires schools to allow a student to participate in sex-segregated school programs and use facilities consistent with the student's gender identity. Under existing law, Education Code section 221.5 provides that elementary and secondary school classes and courses must be conducted without regard to the...

New Federal Guidance Reminds School Districts of their Obligations Relating to Pregnant and Parenting Students

By: Thomas Manniello-

August 2013 Number 43 The U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights' (OCR) recently issued Dear Colleague Letter provides a helpful reminder to school districts of their legal requirements regarding support and accommodation of pregnant and parenting students as they strive to stay in school. The Dear Colleague Letter explains school districts' obligations pursuant to Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 (Title IX) and its implementing regulations relating to schoo...

U.S. Supreme Court Reiterates the High Standard Universities Must Satisfy to Consider Race in Admissions Decisions

By: Thomas MannielloTrevin SimsGabriela Flowers-

July 2013 Number 37 In Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin (June 24, 2013) __ U.S. __ 2013 WL 3155220, the United States Supreme Court reaffirmed that public higher education institutions may only consider race in admissions if the means of doing so is narrowly tailored to further a compelling state interest. The Court also clarified that a reviewing court may defer to a higher education institution's good faith determination that a diverse student body is essential to its educational...

Office for Civil Rights Issues Warning and Guidance on Retaliation Related to Civil Rights Claim

By: Thomas Manniello-

June 2013 Number 27 Recently, the United States Department of Education's (DOE) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issued a Dear Colleague Letter explaining the responsibilities of school districts and postsecondary institutions related to retaliation in the context of civil rights complaints. This letter, the first public guidance issued by the OCR regarding retaliation, was issued due to the significant portion of civil rights complaints received by the OCR that include retaliation claims. ...

Reminders and Developments Regarding AB 1575 and Student Fees

By: Thomas MannielloSloan Simmons-

May 2013 Number 24 Assembly Bill (AB) 1575, which added Education Code section 49010 et seq. and now governs practices relating to student fees, charges and deposits, went into effect January 1, 2013. (See Client News Brief No. 58, October 2012.) Now is good time to review certain efforts required by school districts under AB 1575, as well as take inventory of recent developments on this issue relative to the State Board of Education (SBE) and California Department of Education (CDE). ...

Legislative Changes Impacting Student Discipline

By: Thomas Manniello-

October 2012 Number 52 September 30 was the deadline for Governor Jerry Brown to act on bills passed by the Legislature. The Governor signed into law Assembly Bill (AB) 1729 and AB 2537. These bills alter student discipline laws in an effort to encourage alternative means of discipline besides suspension and expulsion.AB 1729, which amends Education Code sections 48900 and 48900.5, provides superintendents and principals with more discretion to implement alternative disciplinary measures ot...

Recently Signed Bill Affects Post-Retirement Earnings Limitation for STRS Retirees

By: Thomas Manniello-

July 2012 Number 43 On July 17, 2012, Governor Brown signed into law Assembly Bill (AB) 178, which extends important exemptions to the post-retirement earnings limitation under the State Teachers Retirement System (STRS). The bill may affect how school districts hire retired employees. State law limits the amount of post-retirement earnings that a STRS retiree can earn while performing creditable service, such as teaching, without experiencing a reduction in benefits. Previous exemptio...

Update on the ACLU's Student Fees Litigation

By: Thomas MannielloSloan Simmons-

February 2012 Number 08 As previously discussed in Lozano Smith Alert No. 9 (2010), in the fall of 2010 the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a class action lawsuit against the State of Californiaregarding, among other issues, the state's alleged abrogation of its responsibility to ensure that Californiaschool districts do not charge student fees in violation of the free school guarantee under the California Constitution and related laws. The parties reached a proposed settle...

Attorney General Addresses When School Counselors May Disclose A Student's Pregnancy or Abortion-Related Information

By: Thomas Manniello-

January 2012 Number 01 On December 29, 2011, the California Attorney General issued a long-awaited opinion which will guide school counselors in determining when a counselor may disclose personal information about the pregnancy or abortion plans of a student twelve years of age or older. (____ Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. ____ (Dec. 29, 2011). In short, the Attorney General opined that a school counselor may, but is not required to, disclose such private health matters when necessary for the protect...

New Law Allows School Districts to Offer Career Technical Education Courses That Count Towards High School Graduation

By: Thomas Manniello-

December 2011 Number 82 Beginning with the 2012-13 school year, school districts may elect to offer career technical education (CTE) courses as an alternative to the high school graduation visual or performing arts or foreign language course requirements. Under the new law, schools that do not currently offer CTE courses are not required to implement new CTE programs. Assembly Bill (AB) 1330 amends Education Code section 51225.3 to allow CTE courses to serve as an alternative to the pe...

ACLU Issues Report And Recommendations Regarding Schools' Policies And Practices Pertaining To Student Cell Phones

By: Thomas MannielloSloan Simmons-

November 2011 Number 69 The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has released a report regarding schools' practices and policies relating to student cell phones. The report, Hello! Students Have a Right to Privacy in their Cell Phones, discusses student cell phone possession, use, search and seizure, confiscation, and discipline policy trends inCaliforniaand around the nation. The report contains the ACLU's summary of the underlying legal principles at issue and the ACLU's recommended po...

Significant Cases

Published appellate decisions he has briefed or argued include Katz v. Campbell Union High School District (2006) 144 Cal.App.4th 1024; West v. Umialik Insurance Co. (2000) 8 P.3d 1135; Northern Alaska Environmental Center v. State of Alaska, Dept. of Natural Resources (2000) 2 P.3d 629; Gerstein v. Axtell (1998) 960 P. 2d 599.