Priority Briefings

Broadening Educational Opportunities: New Federal Resources on English Learners and on Inclusion in Early Childhood Programs

English Learners Tool Kit In January, we reported on newly released joint guidance from the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice, which outlined a school district’s obligation to ensure that English Learners have equal access to a high-quality education. (English Learner Students: New Federal Guidance, In support of that guidance, the Office of English […]

Senate Bill 100 and Recent Student Discipline Cases

Illinois Legislature Dramatically Reforms Out-Of-School Disciplinary Procedures Governor Rauner signed Senate Bill 100 into law as Public Act 99-456 on August 24, 2015. The bill, which aims to address the school-to-prison pipeline, dramatically reforms the circumstances under and the processes by which a school district can impose out-of-school discipline. School districts do not need to […]

Beware Topic Creep in Closed Session

School board members, administrators, attorneys: we have all been there. The school board has voted correctly to go into closed session to talk about a topic which is a proper one, say employment of specific personnel, the sale price of district-owned property, or collective bargaining matters. But after a few minutes, board members’ comments and […]

June School Board Meeting Agenda Reminders

As school district officials prepare the agenda for their June school board meetings, it is best to remember two routine but essential annual actions which should be on that agenda. Prevailing Wages. The Illinois Prevailing Wage Act (820 ILCS 130/0.01 et seq.) establishes a policy under which school districts and other public bodies must require […]

U.S. Department of Education Reminds All Schools to Designate a Title IX Coordinator

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) enforces Federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs receiving federal financial assistance from the Department of Education. Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in all federally funded education programs and requires school districts, colleges, […]

Delegation of Educational Rights Form Gives Parents Right to Sue

The Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, the federal circuit that includes Illinois and two other states, issued an opinion, Stanek v. St. Charles Community Unit School District #303, on April 9, 2015, interpreting Illinois special education law regarding a parent’s ability to file suit on behalf of their adult child under the Individuals […]

Reminder About Board Organizational Meetings

Pursuant to law, every school board must hold its organizational meeting no later than 28 days after the consolidated election. Further, new board members cannot be seated until after the official canvass of the results by the county election authority. The deadline for the canvass is not until 21 days after the election. Therefore, the […]

Email Access to Board Members Must be Posted

Last year, the General Assembly enacted an amendment to the Local Records Act (P.A. 98-930) which imposes a new posting mandate on all school districts, as well as other local governmental units, which maintain a website. No later than April 1, 2015, every district must post to its website a mechanism for members of the […]

Student Privacy and Online Educational Service Providers: New Guidance

The Privacy Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) serves as a resource for schools and school districts to learn about data privacy, confidentiality, and security practices related to student-level longitudinal data systems.  As we discussed at our 2014 Fall Legal Breakfast, in February 2014, PTAC issued guidance entitled Protecting Student […]