Priority Briefings

UPDATE ON RECALL RIGHTS FOR 2013-14 RIFS

          On July 18, 2014, we reported on new recall rights made effective July 1, 2014, by P.A. 98-0648. Our Priority Briefing stated that any teacher who was in Grouping 2 of the sequence of honorable dismissal list as a result of one “needs improvement” rating and a second “satisfactory”, “proficient” or “excellent”, and who […]


EMPLOYEE PHYSICALS: SCHOOL CODE AMENDMENT EXPANDS AND ALTERS REQUIREMENTS

Public Act 98-0716, effective July 16, 2014, amends Section 24-5 of the School Code.  The amendments add a broad definition of who is an “employee” under this section that expands its applicable scope.  Now under the Act, new “employees” who are subject to the foregoing requirements include: Any new employee of a school district Student […]


IMMEDIATE ATTENTION REQUIRED: NEW RECALL RIGHTS EFFECTIVE FOR 2013-14 RIFS

            Effective July 1, 2014, limited recall rights have been extended by P.A. 98-0648 to certain teachers receiving a “needs improvement” performance rating.  Prior to this Act, Senate Bill 7 had deprived all teachers in Grouping 2 of the sequence of honorable dismissal list of any recall rights in the event of a reduction in […]


SEARCHING SMART PHONES: DIGITAL CONTENT SUBJECT TO 4TH AMENDMENT PROTECTION

          The United States Supreme Court has recently issued opinions restricting law enforcement searches of the digital content of smart phones.  Those decisions should have implications for school officials’ searches of student phones, as well.            The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution protects our right to be secure in our “persons, houses, papers […]


NEW ANTI-BULLYING LEGISLATION REQUIRES SCHOOLS TO EXPAND EXISTING POLICY AND PROCEDURES

            Governor Quinn has signed into law Public Act 98-0669, which amends Section 5/27-23.7 of the Illinois School Code by requiring schools to expand their existing anti-bullying policies based on collaboration with a range of school stakeholders, including students and parents/guardians.  The new law covers public elementary and secondary school districts, as well as charter […]


CEREMONIAL PRAYER PERMISSIBLE AT LOCAL BOARD MEETINGS

           Last month, in the case of Town of Greece v. Galloway, the United States Supreme Court extended its precedent permitting a ceremonial prayer at the beginning of a legislative session to a local government town council meeting.  Although that case concerned a municipal governing board and the justices provided varying opinions to support their […]


STATE’S ATTORNEYS SUBJECT TO FOIA

          Reversing the decision of the Appellate Court last year, the Illinois Supreme Court has ruled that the office of the State’s Attorney in each county is indeed subject to the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”).           FOIA, which requires the disclosure of most state and local governmental records upon request from any member of […]


COURT DELAYS EFFECTIVE DATE OF PENSION REFORM LAW

The Circuit Court of Sangamon County issued a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction on Wednesday, May 15, that delays the effective date of the Pension Reform Law until underlying litigation contesting the validity of the law is decided.  The Law was scheduled to take effect on June 1, 2014. Two immediate questions raised by […]


Confidentiality Issues in Online Educational Services: Guidance and Best Practices from U.S. Department of Education

          With the increased use of technology by school districts to enhance student learning comes challenges with regard to student privacy and security practices. These challenges prompted the U.S. Department of Education to create the Privacy Technical Assistance Center (“PTAC”) as an informational resource to help educators, online educational service providers, and parents.  On February […]


Hot Off The Presses: Federal School Climate and Discipline Guidance Package

          On January 8, 2014, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division (DOJ) issued a joint “School Climate and Discipline Guidance Package” to assist schools with creating positive, safe environments and understanding civil rights obligations.  OCR noted that schools continue to struggle with creating […]