Illinois Bar Journal

Articles on Schools

Limits placed on teachers’ use of birth-related paid sick leave

July
2020
Illinois Law Update
Page 14
On April 16, 2020, the Illinois Supreme Court affirmed the Second District Appellate Court’s holding that section 24-6 of the Illinois School Code does not allow a teacher who gives birth at the end of the school year to use her accumulated paid sick leave at the start of the next school year.

Requirements raised for time-outs and physical restraint in schools

July
2020
Illinois Law Update
Page 14
The State Board of Education adopted amendments to the Part titled Public Schools Evaluation, Recognition and Supervision, replacing the emergency rules previously in effect.

Board of Education not entitled to deduct pay when employee reinstated

March
2020
Illinois Law Update
Page 20
On Dec. 23, 2019, the First District Appellate Court reversed the Chicago Board of Education’s decision to impose a 90-day-time-served suspension on a tenured elementary school teacher who was reinstated after disciplinary hearings.

Sexual harassment policies required in school districts

February
2020
Illinois Law Update
Page 14
The School Code now requires each school district to create, maintain, and implement an age-appropriate policy on sexual harassment.

Nondiscriminatory textbooks and LGBT education mandated for public schools

December
2019
Illinois Law Update
Page 16
Textbooks authorized to be purchased under 105 ILCS 5/2-3.155 must include the roles and contributions of all people protected under the Illinois Human Rights Act.

School districts must adopt emergency plans for students who self-administer medication

November
2019
Illinois Law Update
Page 14
The Illinois General Assembly amended the School Code to require school districts to allow students to self-administer medications if they have specialized health action plans including...

Teacher fired for using sick days to take a vacation

August
2019
Illinois Law Update
Page 16
On May 10, 2019, the First District Appellate Court affirmed the Chicago Board of Education’s decision to dismiss a teacher based on irremediable conduct. Under 105 ILCS 5/34-85(a),

Laws of Behavior

By Pete Sherman
March
2019
LawPulse
Page 16
Illinois Attorney General joins other states in opposition to U.S. Department of Education's Title IX proposals.

Amendment to the School Code creates Emotional Intelligence and Social and Emotional Learning Task Force

February
2019
Illinois Law Update
Page 14
The School Code has been amended to create an Emotional Intelligence and Social and Emotional Learning Task Force. The task force is created to develop curriculum, create assessment guidelines, and establish best practices on emotional intelligence and social and emotional learning.

School boards must notify students with disabilities about qualification for federal services

November
2018
Illinois Law Update
Page 18
The School Code is amended by changing section 14-6.01 regarding the powers and duties of school boards. These new amendments establish how school boards must notify students with disabilities that they may qualify for federal services.

Medical marijuana products may now be administered in Illinois schools

October
2018
Illinois Law Update
Page 18
The School Code was amended to provide that a parent or guardian is now able to administer a medical cannabis-infused product to a student on school property as long as it is not disruptive to the school environment.

Alternative route to high school diploma for adult learners

June
2018
Illinois Law Update
Page 16
An extensive provision has been added to the School Code, providing an alternate route to a high school diploma for adult learners.

Chicago schools sue state over funding disparity

By Matthew Hector
April
2017
LawPulse
Page 22
CPS argues that the school funding formula discriminates against African American and Hispanic students in violation of the Illinois Civil Rights Act.

College Illinois! 529 Prepaid Tuition Program participants will benefit from expansion of eligible institutions

March
2017
Illinois Law Update
Page 28
This rulemaking implements Public Act 99-842, which expands institutional eligibility for the College Illinois! 529 Prepaid Tuition Program by removing certain criteria previously required by the State.

Fire Protection Code amendments change qualifications and responsibilities of school fire inspectors

August
2016
Illinois Law Update
Page 18
The Fire Protection Code underwent significant changes in regards to how the Office of the State Fire Marshal ("OSFM") qualifies and provides oversight for public school fire inspectors. 41 Ill. Adm. Code 111 (eff. May 20, 2016).

Hearing officer’s findings given deference in teacher dismissal hearings despite amendment giving downstate education boards authority

June
2016
Illinois Law Update
Page 18
On December 3, 2015, the Fifth District of the Illinois Appellate Court held that a public school teacher should be reinstated after the Board of Education of Murphysboro Community Unit School District No. 186 (the "Board") dismissed her.

Elementary and secondary schools may not request students’ passwords to social media sites; students may be required to share content with schools during course of investigation

March
2016
Illinois Law Update
Page 26
The Right to Privacy in the School Setting Act has been amended to require students to provide their passwords to social media sites when certain violations are suspected.

Background checks required for state-recognized non-public schools employing student teachers

December
2015
Illinois Law Update
Page 18
The School Code has been amended to provide for mandatory background checks at state-recognized non-public schools employing student teachers.

Board of education to calculate school district pro-rata share for use on special education services and facilities

July
2015
Illinois Law Update
Page 18
For schools receiving payments from the General State Aid Fund, the State Board of Education is to calculate each district's pro-rata share of the minimum $13,600,000 available.

Low-performing public school districts to be designated as ‘priority districts’

June
2015
Illinois Law Update
Page 16
The School Code has been amended to add a section laying out criteria for low-performing school districts to be considered "priority districts" that qualify for further assistance and resources.

School support personnel may participate in principal preparation programs

June
2015
Illinois Law Update
Page 16
A new rulemaking by the State Board of Education allows school support personnel to enter principal preparation programs, so long as they enroll by June 30, 2019.

State Seals of Biliteracy to be added to eligible student transcripts

May
2015
Illinois Law Update
Page 16
On August 27, 2013, the General Assembly passed Pub. Act 98-0560, which allows school districts to voluntarily participate in the State Seal of Biliteracy Program.

Nonpublic schools: proof of nonprofit status, emergency response procedures, and the Pledge of Allegiance

April
2015
Illinois Law Update
Page 16
Effective January 22, 2015, the Illinois State Board of Education ("ISBE") made three changes that relate to nonpublic schools (including private and charter schools).

Fundraising food sales at Illinois schools must now comply with federal nutrition guidelines

February
2015
Illinois Law Update
Page 18
Beginning on July 1, 2014, the United States Department of Agriculture now requires that food products sold on school property during the school day meet federal nutrition guidelines.

Changes to disciplinary procedures at DHS schools

January
2015
Illinois Law Update
Page 16
The Department of Human Services has adopted amendments to the Part concerning the conduct and disciplinary policies at its residential school facilities.

Heightened bilingual education requirements in elementary schools

December
2014
Illinois Law Update
Page 572
The State Board of Education ("SBE") has adopted amendments to the regulations governing Transitional Bilingual Education in order to implement English language development standards in elementary education. 23 Ill. Adm. Code 228 (eff. Sept. 29, 2014).

Special education expenses require review board approval

September
2014
Illinois Law Update
Page 424
Section 5 of the School Code, regarding state approval of payment of tuition and related services for disabled children attending special education programs, has been revised to include approval instructions for certain special needs programs serving autistic children.

Educator licensure

August
2014
Illinois Law Update
Page 372
The State Board of Education has amended Article 21 of the School Code to comply with new state law regarding educator certification. 23 Ill. Adm. Code 25 (eff. May 6, 2014).

More mentorship opportunities available in principal preparation programs

August
2014
Illinois Law Update
Page 372
School superintendents, assistant superintendents, and directors of special education with at least two years of experience relevant to the role of a principal are now permitted to mentor principal candidates. 23 Ill. Adm. Code 30 (eff. May 6, 2014).

New rules apply to state educator licenses

March
2014
Illinois Law Update
Page 120
The School Code has been amended to add and change requirements for renewal and reinstatement of professional educator licenses.

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