Priority Briefings

Naming Names: PAC Issues an Opinion Requiring Employee Names in Board Actions

The Office of the Illinois Attorney General’s Public Access Counselor (PAC) has issued a decision finding that a school board violated the Open Meetings Act (OMA) when it took final action on an employment matter without identifying the employee by name. In the case reviewed by the PAC, the school board held a dismissal hearing […]

Amendments to ISSRA Regulations

Effective June 19, 2013, the Illinois School Student Records Act (ISSRA) regulations are amended to provide for revised definitions of “health-related information,” “permanent record,” and “school student record,” as well as a revised definition of the responsibilities of the designated “official records custodian.” The regulatory amendments add that “health-related information” also includes documentation regarding the […]

New Guidance on Braille Instruction

In response to concerns voiced by parents and advocates about a significant decrease in Braille instruction, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) has issued guidance to reaffirm the importance of Braille and Braille instruction for blind and visually impaired students. OSEP reiterates in this Dear Colleague Letter that Braille instruction […]

Recent Opinions Concerning Illinois Sunshine Laws

              Over the last few months, the Illinois Appellate Court and the Illinois Attorney General have issued several opinions concerning Illinois’ Open Meetings Act (“OMA”) and Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”).  These opinions address several important issues including the format for electronic document production, what matters may be discussed in closed session, the propriety of […]

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, […]

New Legal Guidance and Law on Student Issues

NEW LEGAL GUIDANCE AND LAW ON STUDENT ISSUES             There have been several interesting developments in student-related legal requirements in the past month that school districts and special education cooperatives need to know.  They are described below, in order of their publication. I.          ISBE GUIDANCE ON TMC AND EARLY CHILDHOOD TRANSITION  On January 15, […]

ISBE Issues Guidance on Qualifications of Personnel Conducting Medical Reviews

In July 2012, Section 226.840 of the Illinois State Board of Education special education regulations was amended to revise the qualifications of school personnel who may conduct medical reviews.  Last week the ISBE issued Guidelines: Frequently Asked Questions About Qualifications Required of Personnel Conducting Medical Reviews.  The Guidance defines “medical review,” describes how a medical […]

District to Pay for Multiple Bites at FOIA Exemption Apple

On October 3, 2012, an Illinois Appellate Court issued a decision which should serve as a warning to public school districts asserting questionable objections under the Illinois Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”).  In Rock River Times v. Rockford Public School District 205, the Appellate Court affirmed the trial court’s ruling denying the requestors’ prayer for […]

Student Criminal Reports to be Shared with Districts

Important changes to the parameters within which public schools may acquire and use information contained in law enforcement records about students who have been arrested and/or charged with criminal offenses are on the horizon.  Public Act 97-1104, which takes effect on January 1, 2013, amends the Illinois School Code and Juvenile Court Act to allow […]