Priority Briefings

Court Nixes Use of Church for Public School Graduation

Despite two earlier rulings allowing the practice in the same case, the United States Court of Appeals in Chicago, by a 7-3 vote last week, ruled that a Wisconsin high school district acted improperly in conducting its graduation ceremonies in an evangelical Christian church. In what is commonly referred to as the “Establishment Clause”, the […]

Open Meetings Act: New Agenda Requirements

Effective January 1, 2013, there are a few new provisions in the Open Meetings Act relating to board meeting agendas. The amendments are contained in Public Act 97-827, which adds new subsection (c) to Section 2.02. First, it is now mandated that the “general subject matter of any resolution or ordinance” must be set forth […]

Principal & Teacher Evaluations Fourth Reminder of Actions Required by PERA and Senate Bill 7

Action required on the first day of student attendance. Action required on or before September 1, 2012. PRINCIPAL/ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL EVALUATION The Performance Evaluation Reform Act (“PERA”) requires that on and after September 1, 2012, data and indicators of student growth be a “significant factor” in the performance evaluation of “principals.” Subsequent legislation has included “assistant principals” […]

Required Hospital Qualifications for Property Tax Exemptions

On June 14, 2012, a new law became effective which is intended to clarify some controversial issues surrounding a hospital’s right to receive property tax exemptions. The controversy was the focus of the Illinois Supreme Court decision in Provena Covenant Medical Center v. Department of Revenue, 236 Ill.2d 368 (2010). In Provena, the Illinois Supreme […]

E-Mails and Text Messages on Personal Communication Devices Subject to FOIA

On June 12, 2012, a Circuit Court in Sangamon County, Illinois ordered the City of Champaign and its City Council members to produce emails and text messages sent on their personal cell phones during a City Council meeting. The lawsuit was brought by a newspaper which had previously submitted a request for the records pursuant […]