Priority Briefings

Nonprofit Hospitals Must Prove Actual Charitable Use for Property Tax Exemption

On September 20, 2018, the Illinois Supreme Court issued its much-anticipated decision in Oswald v. Hamer, a lawsuit challenging the facial constitutionality of Section 15-86 of the Property Tax Code, the nonprofit hospital property tax exemption legislation enacted by the General Assembly in 2012.   That section created a new test for tax exemptions -weighing […]

United States Supreme Court Declares Fair Share Agreements Unconstitutional

This morning, the United States Supreme Court issued its anticipated decision regarding fair share agreements and the related deductions from the wages of public sector employees.  (Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, Council 31, et al.)  The Court determined that an “agency fee” or “closed shop” which compels payment to a […]

ISBE Releases Medication Administration Guidance

The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) has released long awaited updated guidance on medication administration in schools which can be found at The new guidance gives school districts 13 points to include in their school medication polices: (1)    a Registered Nurse (“RN”) should begin the process of reviewing any request to administer medication at school; […]

U.S. Department of Education Releases FAQ Guidance Addressing Photographs and Videos as Student Records

On April 20, 2018, the U.S. Department of Education released a Frequently Asked Questions (“FAQ”) document relating to the privacy of student-identifying photographs and surveillance videos.  The FAQ, located here, addresses multiple aspects of the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA”). As to whether photographs or videos could be considered “education records” or student records, […]

ISSRA Amendments Remove Gender from Directory Information

Under the Illinois School Student Records Act (“ISSRA”), certain school student records information, called “directory information,” which includes student names, addresses and other information as identified by the Illinois State Board of Education (“ISBE”), can only be released in accordance with ISBE rules.  Under the ISBE rules, unless a parent requests that some or all […]

OSEP Issues Q&A Document on Endrew F.

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs (“OSEP”) released nonregulatory guidance discussing the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent unanimous decision in Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District. Endrew F. settled a dispute amongst U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeal on whether a FAPE required an “educational benefit ‘[that is] merely…more than de minimis’” […]

Skipping a Grade? You Need a Policy for That.

The Illinois School Code has been amended to codify the practice of accelerating students in certain subjects or grades.   Public Act 100-421 amends Article 14A of the Illinois School Code by requiring school districts to adopt a policy regarding the accelerated placement of students.  Pursuant to the new law, “accelerated placement” means, but is not […]

Changes to the Illinois School Student Records Act

The Illinois legislature recently amended the Illinois School Student Records Act (“ISSRA”). The changes to ISSRA by Public Act 100-0532 are effective immediately and require school districts to comply with student records requests more quickly. Previously, a school district had days to respond to a parent’s or student’s request to inspect and copy student records […]

Voter-Initiated Referenda to Reduce Property Taxes

A provision within the recently passed school funding legislation (SB1947, enacted as Public Act 100-465) allows voter-initiated referenda to reduce property taxes for certain school districts in Illinois.  The threshold for districts to be subject to such a possible referendum is 110% of the district’s adequacy target for local taxing capacity, as determined under the […]

New Mandates for Accommodations for Students

Public Act 100-163 amends the Illinois School Code beginning on January 1, 2018 to require that school districts make feminine hygiene products available at no cost to students in the bathrooms of all school buildings serving students in grades 6-12.  Please note that the term “feminine hygiene products” includes both tampons and sanitary napkins.  School […]