American Rescue Plan Act: What to Expect WIth Regard to Higher Education

On March 10, 2021, Congress passed the Biden Administration’s American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA). Building on previous Congressional relief bills – the CARES Act and the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA) – the ARPA commits significant resources to colleges and universities. In fact, the ARPA directs more money to institutions, in overall totals, than either of the CARES Act or the CRRSAA.

To read the full text of this post by Duane Morris attorney Jonathan Helwink, please visit the Duane Morris UpdatED Blog.

Students and Employees – Guidance and Considerations for Masks on Campus

On January 21, 2021, President Biden issued an Executive Order on Protecting Worker Health and Safety. On January 29th, OSHA issued new comprehensive guidance.

This recent guidance is intended to inform employers and workers outside of the healthcare industry and to assist them in determining up-to-date and appropriate control measures to implement.

To read the full text by Duane Morris attorney Jonathan Helwink, please visit the Duane Morris UpdatED Blog.

Continued Exceptions for Certain International Students and Academics Confirmed by Biden Administration

With a month in office, the Biden Administration is taking steps to reveal its COVID-19 policy approach to international students and academics. On January 25, 2021, the President announced Proclamation #10143, which extended the previous administration’s limitation on travel to the U.S. from the Schengen Area, the United Kingdom, and Ireland. On February 10, 2021, the Department of State confirmed that national interest exceptions (NIE) to the travel ban, first issued in October 2020, will remain in place in the new administration.

To read the full post by Duane Morris attorney Jonathan Helwink, please visit the Duane Morris UpdatED Blog.

University Pricing and and Learning Disruptions Can Open a Pandora’s Box

A common question for colleges today is whether to reduce tuition prices if they cannot provide on-campus classes due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The short answer, both legally and morally, is that colleges should not charge students for services they cannot or do not deliver.

The ultimate answer is more complex and requires a disaggregating analysis of the services that that were included in the price of tuition, including a review of the value associated with in-person interactions.

To read the full text of this article by Duane Morris partner Tony Guida, please visit the University Business website.

Inauguration 2021: Anticipated Government Policy Updates and Changes Regarding COVID-19 Concerns

Duane Morris will be hosting the webinar, “Inauguration 2021: Anticipated Government Policy Updates and Changes Regarding COVID-19 Concerns,” on January 28, 2021, from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. Eastern.

This is the first 2021 session of the Duane Morris COVID-19: Navigating Forward Webinar Series. For more information and the registration link, please visit the firm website.

Federal Judge Dismisses COVID-Related College Tuition Refund Claims

Since the global pandemic forced most college campuses to resort to online instruction in March 2020, college students across the country have filed more than 150 lawsuits against their schools seeking refunds of tuition and related fees.

This month, a federal judge in Boston made the first dispositive ruling in such a case against Northeastern University – tossing out most of the claims asserted by the students in a putative class-action matter.

To read the full text of this post by Duane Morris attorney Deanna Lucci, please visit the Duane Morris UpdatED Blog.

Pennsylvania Making $10.5M Available for Career and Technical Education Centers

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf is dedicating approximately $10.5 million in equity grants to Career and Technical Education Centers (CTC) to assist them in implementing public health and safety plans and help them to resume operations.

To read the full text of this post by Duane Morris partner Brad Molotsky, please visit the Duane Morris Project Development/Infrastructure/P3 Blog.

When Welcoming Back Students, Colleges Fear COVID-19 Spread, Class Actions Over Tuition

Colleges and universities across the country are beginning to figure out what the fall semester for students will look like. In-house counsel at the schools that have chosen to bring students back to campus full-time need to worry about furthering the spread of the new coronavirus and class action litigation over refunds for tuition, housing and service fees.

It is too early to tell how courts will rule on these kinds of lawsuits, Ed Cramp, a partner at Duane Morris in San Diego said. From his perspective, how education is delivered to a student is not something guaranteed by the university. However, the suits asking for a refund of fees for services not used could be problematic.

“The issue for the institutions is that many of them just don’t have the money. It is not a matter of, ‘Let me just write you a check,’” Cramp said.

To read the full text of this article in Corporate Counsel magazine quoting Duane Morris partner Ed Cramp, please visit law.com (subscription required).

U.S. Dept. of Education Office of Civil Rights Issues FAQ Regarding Civil Rights and Distance Learning During COVID-19

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights recently issued a FAQ in its continuing effort to address civil rights issues during the COVID-19 pandemic.  The new guidance focused on disability accommodations, Title IX, and harassment issues.

To read the full text of this post by Duane Morris attorney Bryce Young, please visit the Duane Morris UpdatED Blog.