Priority Briefings

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 […]

Working Cash Bonds for Building Projects Approved in Second District

The Illinois Appellate Court, Second District, in the case of 1001 Ogden Avenue Partners v. Henry, has given school districts a major victory in the on-going battle against one of the most persistent arguments made in tax rate objections. Illinois school districts often need to raise money to pay for capital projects in amounts which […]

Extended Leave Not a “Reasonable Accommodation” Under ADA

Employees who have exhausted their right to paid sick leave and unpaid leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) often request additional unpaid leave as a “reasonable accommodation” due them under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). Now,  the United States 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, whose jurisdiction includes Illinois, has taken an […]

Tax Rate Limit for Educational Fund Lifted in Tax-Capped Counties

Another of the provisions contained in the school funding legislation signed into law by Governor Rauner on August 31, 2017, (known as SB 1947, or Public Act 100-465) which has not received much attention in the media is the removal of the specific rate limit for Educational Fund levy for all school districts subject to […]

Mandate Relief to Illinois School Districts

One of the lesser known aspects of the school funding legislation signed into law by Governor Rauner on August 31, 2017, (known as SB 1947, or Public Act 100-465) is that it provides much-needed relief from some of the mandates historically imposed upon school districts statewide. Importantly, the School Code previously permitted waivers of mandates […]

OCR Provides Instructions on Transgender Student Investigations

As we have reported in previous Priority Briefings, the rights of transgender students have yet to be resolved. In the last several months, the federal government withdrew guidance that existed under the Obama Administration and federal courts have dismissed cases that could have clarified transgender students’ rights nationwide.  In light of these events, on June […]