Brian P. Crowley

Brian P. Crowley

Franczek Radelet P.C.

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Zoning Law Applicable to School Districts Signed into Law

On August 25, 2016, Governor Rauner signed into law Public Act 99-890, which is the result of an effort by the education community to temper the effect of the recent Supreme Court decision in Gurba v. Community High School...more

8/30/2016 - Educational Institutions Municipalities New Legislation Public Schools School Districts Zoning Laws

Illinois Appellate Court finds FOIA does not apply to the IHSA and School District cannot be used to obtain non-public records...

Recently, the Illinois Appellate Court (First District) issued its decision in Better Government Association v. Illinois High School Association and Consolidated High School District 230 affirming the lower court’s dismissal...more

7/22/2016 - 501(c)(3) Charitable Organizations Educational Institutions FOIA IHSA Request For Information School Districts

Internal Investigative Reports That Lead to Discipline Are Not Exempt Adjudicatory Records under FOIA

An Illinois Appellate Court has further limited the public records that a public body can withhold from disclosure under Section 7(1)(n) of the Freedom of Information Act, which exempts “records relating to a public body’s...more

4/27/2016 - Confidential Information Disciplinary Proceedings Exemptions FOIA Internal Investigations Newspapers Public Records

Appellate Court Affirms Circuit Court Reversal of PAC Opinion on OMA Violation

Last year, an Illinois Circuit Court overturned a Public Access Counselor opinion that found that the Board of Education of Springfield School District No. 186 violated the Open Meetings Act when it voted on the separation...more

12/22/2015 - Open Meetings Act Public Access Laws School Districts Separation Agreement

PAC Finds FOIA Violation over Redactions in Governor Rauner’s Calendar

The PAC recently issued a binding opinion finding that the office of Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner violated the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act by delaying its response to a FOIA request, and improperly...more

11/30/2015 - FOIA PACs Public Access Laws

PAC Actions Offer Guidance on the Scope of the Unduly Burdensome Exception to FOIA

In October, the PAC released a written response to a FOIA request that it denied because it would be unduly burdensome under Section 3(g) of FOIA. 5 ILCS 140/3(g). The request asked for “Public Access Counselor determinations...more

11/30/2015 - Department of Transportation (DOT) FOIA Open Meetings Act PACs Public Access Laws

Illinois Supreme Court Says School District’s Subject to Municipal Zoning

On September 24, 2015, the Illinois Supreme Court reaffirmed the adage that “a picture is worth a thousand words” in holding that Community High School District No. 155’s bleacher construction project is subject to and must...more

9/29/2015 - Amicus Briefs Construction Industry Construction Project Educational Institutions IASB IL Supreme Court Industrial Stormwater Rule Jurisdiction Land Use Restrictions School Districts Zoning Laws

PAC Finds Student Discipline Records, Even if Redacted, Identified Students and Were Exempt from FOIA

The Illinois Attorney General’s Public Access Counselor (PAC) issued a non-binding opinion that provides guidance on what constitutes a school student record as provided in the Illinois School Student Records Act (ISSRA) and...more

9/23/2015 - Confidential Information Educational Institutions FOIA PACs Personally Identifiable Information Public Access Laws Right to Privacy School Suspension Student Privacy Student Records

PAC Finds Village Board in Violation of OMA on Multiple Counts

The PAC recently issued a binding opinion ruling against a local village board for failing to provide proper notice and state a valid exception to enter closed session in violation of the Open Meetings Act (OMA). In PAC...more

8/31/2015 - Board Meetings Open Meetings Act PACs Police

School Districts and Charter Schools Must Address Student Data Privacy Concerns in Contracts

In working with school districts and charter schools, our firm has learned that many clients may have entered into agreements that lack key contract terms necessary to protect student data privacy. In other cases, we have...more

8/27/2015 - Charter Schools Data Privacy Data Protection Data-Sharing Educational Institutions Google Personally Identifiable Information School Districts Student Privacy

PAC Rules on Two OMA Cases

The Illinois Attorney General’s Public Access Counselor (PAC) issued two non-binding opinions in July related to the Open Meetings Act (OMA). In one opinion, the PAC found that a school district did not violate the OMA when...more

8/11/2015 - Educational Institutions Open Meetings Act PACs Policy Violations Public Comment Public School Boards

PAC Rules Collective Bargaining Preparatory Meetings are Subject to OMA

In a non-binding opinion, the Public Access Counselor (PAC) held that a school district violated the Open Meetings Act (OMA) when the board’s negotiations team, which included three board members, held a meeting to discuss...more

8/4/2015 - Collective Bargaining Compliance Educational Institutions Open Meetings Act Public School Boards School Districts Teachers Unions

PAC Upholds Board Action: No OMA Violation for Private Emails

In June, the Public Access Counselor (PAC) issued a non-binding opinion holding that board members of a school district did not violate the Open Meetings Act (OMA) when partaking in intermittent private email exchanges...more

7/13/2015 - Board Meetings Board of Education Educational Institutions Electronic Communications Email Open Meetings Act Public Access Laws School Districts

April 1 Deadline for Posting School Board Member E-Mail Addresses Online Approaches

As we reported in our 2014 Legislative Update, a recent law requires every school district that maintains a traditional website to post on that website a mechanism for members of the public to electronically communicate with...more

3/26/2015 - Deadlines Electronic Communications Email Public School Boards Public Schools

Franczek Radelet Files Amicus Brief in “Bleacher Case”

The Illinois Association of School Boards (IASB), the Illinois Association of School Business Officials (IASBO), and the Illinois Association of School Administrators (IASA) recently retained Franczek Radelet to prepare an...more

3/17/2015 - Municipalities Public Schools School Districts Zoning Laws

Illinois Supreme Court Will Review “Bleacher” Case

Last September in this Alert, we discussed an opinion in which the Second District Appellate Court ruled that Community High School District 155 was subject to the zoning regulations of the City of Crystal Lake, a home rule...more

2/2/2015 - Construction Permits Municipalities Public Schools School Districts

New FOIA Amendments Affect Public Bodies’ Responses to Requests

Effective immediately, the General Assembly overrode the Governor’s veto to approve new amendments to the FOIA, which are designed to reduce the burden on public bodies. Public Act 98-1129 provides the following: 1) a...more

12/12/2014 - Amended Legislation FOIA Public Entities

Circuit Court of Springfield Overturns PAC Opinion on OMA Violation

An Illinois Circuit Court recently overturned a Public Access Counselor opinion. The Court held, contrary to the PAC, that the Board of Education of Springfield School District No. 186 did not violate Section 2(e) of the Open...more

11/26/2014 - Board of Education Open Meetings Act School Districts Separation Agreement Transparency

PAC Strikes Down Five Day Registration Requirement for Public Comment as Violation of OMA

The Public Access Counselor (PAC) in the Illinois Attorney General’s office recently issued a binding opinion regarding public participation in meetings held by public bodies. Section 2.06(g) of the Open Meetings Act...more

10/10/2014 - Open Meetings Act Public Comment

Appellate Court Enforces 60 Day Time-Bar on OMA Challenges

Recently, an appellate court in the Fifth District upheld a countywide sales tax implemented through the School Facility Occupation Tax Law. In doing so, the Court denied relief to an Open Meetings Act (OMA) challenge due to...more

10/2/2014 - Local Taxes Open Meetings Act Public Schools

2014 Legislative Update: Summary Of Changes In School Law

In This Update: - Administration ..School as Polling Place ..Student Discipline Study ..Destruction of Public Records ..Sale of Personal Information ..DCFS Guardianship ..Children of...more

9/22/2014 - Charter Schools Education Reform Educational Institutions Property Tax Teachers

PAC Limits Public Bodies’ Authority in Regulating Public Comment Period

On September 4, 2014, the Illinois Attorney General’s Office released a binding opinion through its Public Access Counselor (PAC) that public bodies cannot require speakers to provide personal information such as a home...more

9/18/2014 - Attorney Generals Public Comment

U.S. Department of Education Issues New Guidelines On Collecting Student Data

This past July, the U.S. Department of Education released the Transparency Best Practices for Schools and Districts, a new set of guidelines created to improve relations between school districts and parents surrounding school...more

9/12/2014 - Data Collection Data Protection Department of Education PTAC Public Schools School Districts Students

Illinois Appellate Court Rules that School Districts are subject to Municipal Zoning

In a strongly worded 42 page decision, the Second District Appellate Court ruled in Gurba v. Community HS Dist. 155, that school districts are subject to the zoning regulations of home rule municipalities. The decision...more

9/11/2014 - Home Rule States Municipalities School Districts

Back to School OMA/FOIA Update: Public Access Counselor (PAC) Decisions this Summer

The summer is nearly behind us, and it has been a busy summer for the Public Access Counselor (PAC) office of the Illinois Attorney General, which issued five binding decisions since May on Open Meetings Act (OMA) and Freedom...more

8/26/2014 - Colleges Contractors FOIA Open Meetings Act Sexual Harassment Subcontractors Universities

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