From Your Counsel, 2017

Does the district really know you?

Double-check personal information on district documents to protect yourself

Originally printed in the Fall 2017 issue of The Education Focus.

Associate General Counsel Tim Melton explains why you should double-check all personal information the district has about you. Full article.

5 tips for dealing with violent students

Originally printed in the June/July issue of The Education Focus.

Associate General Counsel Heath Merchen outlines five things to remember when things turn violent. Full article.

It’s your responsibility – period

Report suspected child abuse immediately

The OEA legal department annually receives a large number of calls regarding child abuse issues. Sadly, countless members are misinformed about their reporting obligations and many districts run afoul of the statutory requirements. Full article.

Keep Documents to Protect Yourself

Originally printed in the March 2017 issue of The Education Focus.

As the school year begins to wind down, it is important to remember what school-related and employment documents you should keep in a separately maintained permanent file. School employees often have the mindset that because the school district has copies of these documents, it is unnecessary for the school employee to keep separate copies. Full article.

What If My School District Runs Out of Money?

Originally printed in the February 2017 issue of The Education Focus.

With the current climate of sparse education funding becoming a stark reality year after year, many questions arise as to what will happen to an employee’s pay if a school district either runs short of money during the fiscal year, or runs out of money before the end of the current fiscal year. There are several remedies available to address either scenario. Full article.

When does a fraction equal a whole?

Originally printed in the December/January 2016-17 issue of The Education Focus.

Rule changes adopted by the Oklahoma Teachers Retirement System (TRS) in 2013 created some unintended – and unfair – consequences for people who didn’t work a full school year as defined by the system. Fortunately, an amendment to the rules earlier this year has put some logic back into the calculation and education employees are benefiting when it comes to retirement. Full article


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