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Let’s Talk - Lozano Smith Podcast


Discussing changes in the law and legal decisions that affect public agencies.

Discussing changes in the law and legal decisions that affect public agencies.


United States




Discussing changes in the law and legal decisions that affect public agencies.








Episode 48 COVID-19 School Closures: Compensatory Education in the Special Education Context

Following COVID-19 school closures during the 2019-2020 school year, many school districts are faced with making determinations regarding potential compensatory education for their special education student populations. Host Sloan Simmons discusses the concept of compensatory education and school closures with Lozano Smith special education experts Marcy Gutierrez and Collen Villarreal, including important factors for districts to consider on this subject and the latest OAH rulings on point....


Episode 47 The Supreme Court Speaks: Guidelines for Regulation of Student Off-Campus Speech

For the first time since 2007, the United States Supreme Court has weighed-in on student free speech rights under the First Amendment. In Mahanoy Area School District v. B.L., the high court addressed for the first time the parameters and limits for schools’ regulation of student off-campus speech. In this episode, Lozano Smith student speech experts Mike Smith and Sloan Simmons break down the Supreme Court’s decision and its implications for California school districts. Show Notes &...


Episode 46 California’s “Reopening” and the Future of Public Meetings Under the Brown Act

With the easing of COVID-19 restrictions and California’s “reopening,” host Sloan Simmons has a timely discussion with Lozano Smith Governance Co-Practice Group Leader, Anne Collins and Lozano Smith Technology and Innovation Practice Group Leader Travis Cochran regarding the state of the law and future of public meetings under the Brown Act in light of pending legislation that would continue flexibility for remote participation by local officials and the public. Show Notes & References 3:19...


Episode 45 Charter School Reforms in the COVID-19 Era

Host Sloan Simmons facilitates a timely and interesting discussion with Lozano Smith Charter School Practice Group Leaders, Ed Sklar and Erin Hamor, regarding the status of charter school reform legislation and the impacts of COVID-19 on the same. Show Notes & References 2:10 – Review of charter reform legislation over the last two years 2:31 – Assembly Bill (AB) 1505 3:26 – State dashboard 7:20 – AB 1316 and pending Education Budget Trailer Bill 7:36 – People v. McManus; San Diego Super....


Episode 44 EIFD and Tax Increment – A Public Finance Practitioner Discussion of the Enhanced Infrastructure Financing District Financing Tool

Lozano Smith attorneys Constantine Baranoff and Daniel Maruccia join host Sloan Simmons in an informative and detailed discussion of how Enhanced Infrastructure Financing Districts have evolved in California with attorneys who focus on public finance and who have formed EIFDs throughout the state. They also discuss available financing structures and explore projects (including freeway overlay and flood control) which EIFDs may be used to finance. Show Notes & References 5:01 – 2012...


Episode 43 Catching Up, and Looking Forward: Student Issues After a Year of COVID-19 and Heading Back to School in 2021-2022

Host Sloan Simmons joins Lozano Smith attorneys Ruth Mendyk and Joshua Whiteside to discuss updates to district policies and practices during the 2020-21 school year, pending legislation on student retention and grading issues for 2021-22 and proposed curriculum and kindergarten / preschool related issues for future years. Show Notes & References 2:30 – Assembly Bill (AB) 1127 - Expanded transfer rights to victims of bullying (Client News Brief 74) 4:34 – Education Code 48900(r) - Student...


Episode 42: Return to School in the COVID-19 Era – Student Athletics Issues (Part 3)

Host Sloan Simmons talks with Lozano Smith attorneys Ruth Mendyk and Chelsea Olson Murphy about the latest developments on COVID-19 and student athletics, with a focus on the most recent guidance from the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF), as well as other state public health directives and guidance heading into the 2020-2021 school year. Updates UPDATE 12/1/2020 – CIF puts hold on start date for full practice and competition for Education Based Athletics:...


Episode 41: Return to School in the COVID-19 Era – Special Education Issues (Part 2)

Host Sloan Simmons talks with Lozano Smith Special Education attorneys Alyssa Bivins and Marcy Gutierrez about the latest developments on COVID-19 and special education, with a focus on Senate Bill 98 and the most recent state and federal directives and guidance heading into the 2020-2021 school year. Show Notes & References 1:40 – California Department of Public Health Guidance (July 17, 2020) 2:13 – Senate Bill (SB) 98 2:25 – Emergency Plans and IEPs 10:00 – Impact of extended school...


Episode 40: Return to School in the COVID-19 Era – Student Issues (Part 1)

Host Sloan Simmons talks with Lozano Smith attorneys Desiree Serrano and Aimee Perry about the latest developments on COVID-19 and students, with a focus on Senate Bill 98 and the most recent state agency directives and guidance heading into the 2020-2021 school year. Show Notes & References 2:18 – Requirements for in-person instruction 2:40 – Senate Bill (SB) 98 5:12 – Daily live interaction 7:16 – Distance learning 8:54 – California Department of Education’s Distance Learning FAQs 11:13 –...


Episode 39: Suicide Awareness and Prevention – From ACSA’s ECC Symposium to the COVID-19 Crisis

While on location at the Association of California School Administrators’ (ACSA) 2020 Annual Every Child Counts Symposium (ECC), host Sloan Simmons talked with Lozano Smith attorney and ECC presenter Jennifer Baldassari, and Nathan Moreno, Director of Special Education at Soledad Unified School District (as of July 1, 2020, Director of Special Education at Guadalupe Union School District), regarding student suicide risk assessments, child find, case law, and suicide prevention. This timely...


Episode 38: California’s Uniform Complaint Procedures: What You Need to Know in 2020

Host Sloan Simmons talks with Lozano Smith attorneys Marisa Lincoln and Carolyn Gemma about California’s Uniform Complaint Procedures (UCP). Their discussion covers increasingly important legal parameters and best practices for complying with the State’s UCP, and how the UCP interacts with best practices in investigations and other complaint processes, such as that before the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights. Show Notes & References 1:20 – What is the UCP? 6:54 –...


Episode 37: The New Year Brings A Huge Wave of Affordable Housing Legislation: What Does It All Mean for California Cities?

In this episode, Jenell Van Bindsbergen and William P. Curley III, co-chairs of the firm’s Municipal Practice Group, talk about the unprecedented crush of affordable housing legislation enacted by the California Legislature in 2019. The team discusses what the new laws mean for city governments, and how the legislation strikes at local control and other issues of importance to local municipalities. Show Notes & References 1:34 Episode 14: Police in Schools - The Role of a School Resource...


Episode 36: On Location at CSBA’s AEC – Insights on Critical Issues Impacting Education Agencies by Statewide Education Law Experts (A Bonus Episode of the Lozano Smith Podcast)

While on location at the California School Boards Association’s (CSBA) 2019 Annual Education Conference, host Sloan Simmons talks with CSBA General Counsel, Kathryn Meola, and one of Lozano Smith’s founding partners, Mike Smith, about critical legal issues impacting educational and other public agencies heading in 2020 and beyond. Show Notes & References 2:45 W. v. Tehachapi Unified School Dist., Ninth Circuit Case No. 19-15680, appeal from 2019 WL 1092574 (E.D. Cal. Mar. 8, 2019) 2:53...


Episode 35: Fall 2019 Legislative Roundup – Labor & Employment Bills

Host Sloan Simmons talks with Lozano Smith partners Michelle Cannon and Gabriela Flowers, co-chairs of the firm's Labor and Employment Practice Group, about important new labor and employment laws passed in 2019 and how they will impact public agency employers in the new year. Topics covered include employment classifications, probationary periods for classified public school employees, new lactation accommodation requirements, settlement agreements with employees, and expansion of...


Episode 34: The 7 Things Every Elected Board or Council Member Should Know

Lozano Smith partners Mary Lerner and Anne Collins, co-chairs of the firm’s Governance Practice Group, talk about the basics that every newly elected member of a local agency governing body should know when assuming office. This podcast isn’t just for newly electeds – it’s full of information for public officials, local agency staff, and members of the voting public too. Show Notes & References 8:00 The Brown Act 15:20 The Public Records Act 16:25 City of San Jose v. Superior Court (2017) 2...


Episode 33: Fall 2019 Legislative Roundup – Special Education Bills

Sloan Simmons sits down with Lozano Smith Special Education Practice Group Leaders Marcy Gutierrez and Aly Bivins, along with special education, 504, and student attorney Kyle Raney, to discuss this year’s legislative activity in the area of special education, as well to get their views on what school officials should be thinking about in the special education arena looking forward to 2020. Show Notes & References 2:07 Assembly Bill (AB) 605 (Assistive technology devices) (Client News Brief...


Episode 32: AB 48 Would Have A Big Impact on School Facilities – If Voters Approve (A Bonus Episode of the Lozano Smith podcast)

Lozano Smith attorneys Daniel Maruccia and Harold Freiman discuss what AB 48 could mean for school facilities funding if approved by the voters in March 2020. Show Notes & References 2:52 3-legged stool 4:49 Prop 47 (2002) 5:09 Prop 55 (2004) 5:30 Prop 1D (2006) 6:24 Prop 51 (2016) 10:42 AB 48 (2019) (Client News Brief 62 - October 2019) 13:25 School Facilities Programs (SFP) 17:00 Office of Public School Construction (OPSC) / State Allocation Board (SAB) 23:35 Prop 39 bonds 24:01 Tax rate...


Episode 31: Fall 2019 Legislative Roundup – Student Bills

Sloan Simmons talks with Lozano Smith Student Practice Group Leaders Ruth Mendyk and Aimee Perry regarding this year’s legislative enactments impacting students and tips for school districts in preparing for compliance with these new laws. Show Notes & References 2:29 Senate Bill (SB) 543 (Sexual harassment complaint procedure poster) (Client News Brief 71: November 2019) 6:00 Assembly Bill (AB) 34 (Bullying & harassment policies posted online) (Client News Brief 70: November 2019) 9:22 AB...


Episode 30: Charter School Reform Laws Have Been Enacted – Now What?

Following months of discussion regarding the impact that charter schools have had on traditional public schools, the Legislature has passed, and Governor Newsom has signed, two bills that will have wide-ranging impacts on California charter schools and their authorizers. Joining host Devon Lincoln to discuss these new laws, and what charter school authorizers need to know about these changes, are attorneys Megan Macy and Ed Sklar. Show Notes & References 2:50 Assembly Bill (AB) 1505 16:42...


Episode 29: Top Myths of School Avoidance (Part 2)

In Part 2 of our discussion on school avoidance, Sloan Simmons continues the discussion with Jennifer Baldassari and Susan Bishop about case examples, myths, and best practices. Show Notes & References 3:15 Confirmation Bias 7:10 General Education Interventions (Ed. Code 56303) 8:45 ERMHS Assessments 10:30 Orinda Union School District v. Student (2017) OAH Case No. 2017060787 14:40 Lucia Mar Unified School District v. Student (2017) OAH Case No. 2017020299 16:20 Residential Treatment Centers...