ISBE ADOPTS CDC GUIDANCE FOR COVID-19 PREVENTION IN K-12

            On July 9, 2021, ISBE and IDPH adopted the CDC Guidance for COVID-19 Prevention in K-12 Schools for the upcoming school year, which provides for fully in-person learning (with limited exceptions). Highlights include: Each School District determines which prevention strategies to implement and how, based on the local community: Factors the CDC indicates should…

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GOVERNOR PRITZKER SETS TIMELINE FOR RETURNING TO IN PERSON MEETINGS

            On June 25, 2021, Governor Pritzker issued Executive Order 2021-14 which, among other things, extended the suspension of the Illinois Open Meetings Act’s requirements for in-person meetings through July 24, 2021. This Executive Order permits School Boards to continue utilizing remote board meetings through July 24, subject to the same requirements and procedures they…

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OFF-CAMPUS INTERNET STUDENT SPEECH ENTITLED TO CONSTITUITIONAL PROTECTION

            The U.S. Supreme Court ruled today that a cheerleader’s expletive-filled social media posting about her school is protected under the First Amendment. Schools generally have limited authority to regulate their students’ on-campus speech only when that speech “materially and substantially” interferes with school activities. Tinker v. Des Moines, 393 US 503 (1969).             Appellate…

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OCR ISSUES NOTICE OF INTERPRETATION OF TITLE IX TO PROHIBIT DISCRIMINATION BASED ON SEXUAL ORIENTATION AND GENDER IDENTITY

            The U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has issued a Notice of Interpretation that it will investigate allegations that an individual has been discriminated against in educational programs or activities, including allegations of harassment, disciplinary discrimination, exclusion, or lack of equal access to the school’s activities or programs, sex-stereotyping and being…

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PROPERTY TAX REFUND REVENUE RECOVERY IN MOST CASES APPROVED BY GENERAL ASSEMBLY

            With the passage of Senate Bill 508 in the closing minutes of its spring 2021 session, the General Assembly has set the stage for all school districts and other local taxing districts in counties subject to the Property Tax Extension Limitation Law (PTELL) to benefit from supplemental tax levies.  These supplemental levies would make…

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REMINDER ABOUT BOARD ORGANIZATIONAL MEETINGS

Pursuant to law, every school board must hold its organizational meeting no later than 28 days after the consolidated election. Further, new board members cannot be seated until after the official canvass of the results by the county election authority. The deadline for the canvass is not until 21 days after the election. Therefore, the…

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ISBE ISSUES NEW GUIDANCE ON QUALIFIED INTERPRETERS AND EXTENDED SCHOOL YEAR AND AMENDS SPECIAL EDUCATION REGULATIONS

The Illinois State Board of Education (“ISBE”) recently issued a new Notification of Conference form and Guidance regarding qualified interpreters at IEP meetings, issued non-regulatory guidance on Extended School Year Services, and amended its special education regulations to conform to recent legislation.  New Notice of Conference Available and Qualified Interpreter Guidance Issued ISBE has issued…

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IDPH AND ISBE ISSUE NEW PUBLIC HEALTH GUIDANCE SUPPORTING A RETURN TO IN-PERSON INSTRUCTION

On March 9, 2021, the Illinois Department of Public Health (“IDPH”) and the Illinois State Board of Education (“ISBE”) issued Revised Public Health Guidance for Schools. Through this guidance, IDPH and ISBE recommend and support a return to in-person instruction throughout Illinois as soon as practicable. To make this goal possible, the guidance lists certain…

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NEW SPECIAL EDUCATION REGULATIONS REQUIRE QUALIFIED INTERPRETERS AT IEP MEETINGS

Effective January 22, 2021, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) has adopted new regulations that require districts to provide “Qualified Interpreters” at IEP meetings to allow parents, whose native language is other than English, to meaningfully participate in the meeting. The regulations also require districts to give parents notice of the availability of interpretation…

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