Kendra Yoch

Kendra Yoch

Franczek Radelet P.C.

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Supreme Court Will Review Two Special Education Cases this Term

The Supreme Court currently has two important special education cases on its docket for this term. The first is Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District (10th Cir.), which will revisit the free and appropriate public...more

10/19/2016 - ADA Educational Institutions Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) IDEA IEP Public Schools SCOTUS Service Animals Special Education Students

Department of Education Issues Guidance Regarding Meeting the Needs of Students with ADHD

The Department of Education recently issued a Dear Colleague Letter explaining the obligations of school districts to students with ADHD under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. The guidance notes that over the last five...more

8/11/2016 - Dear Colleague Letter Department of Education Disability Discrimination Educational Institutions Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) IDEA OCR Public Schools Rehabilitation Act Section 504 Students

DOE Issues Updated Guidance on Homeless Students

The Department of Education recently issued three pieces of guidance, including detailed non-regulatory guidance, a student fact sheet, and a “Dear Colleague” letter, all of which address meeting the needs of homeless...more

8/11/2016 - Dear Colleague Letter Department of Education Every Student Succeeds Act (“ESSA”) FERPA Homeless Issues New Guidance Personally Identifiable Information Poverty Students

Criminal Histories Are No Longer an Automatic Bar to Employment in Illinois Schools

Effective July 29, 2016, HB 4360 revised Illinois law to eliminate what was otherwise considered a lifetime ban on employment for those individuals seeking work in schools who had been convicted of certain non-violent drug...more

8/4/2016 - Criminal Background Checks Criminal Records Educational Institutions Employment Application Employment Discrimination Hiring & Firing Job Applicants New Legislation

Student Residency Hearing Revisions to the Illinois School Code Effective January 1, 2017

Effective January 1, 2017, the process by which school districts in Illinois may dispute student residency will fundamentally change. Public Act 99-0670 (HB 4606) was signed by Governor Rauner on July 29, 2016, amending...more

8/4/2016 - Educational Institutions New Legislation Residency Requirements Residency Status School Districts Students

Revised Illinois Special Education Regulations Go into Effect

The Illinois regulations related to special education were recently revised, effective January 13, 2016. Many of the changes clarify language or remove provisions specifically applicable to prior years. Additionally,...more

2/4/2016 - Charter Schools Educational Institutions Policies and Procedures School Districts Special Education

Another Illinois Appellate District Finds Voluntary Release of FOIA Records After Suit is Filed Will Not Avoid the Award of...

Section 11(i) of the FOIA provides “If a person seeking the right to inspect or receive a copy of a public record prevails in a proceeding under this Section, the court shall award such person reasonable attorneys’ fees and...more

1/18/2016 - Attorney's Fees FOIA Prevailing Party

“Some” Educational Benefit Is the Correct Standard for Determining FAPE Under the IDEA

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals recently reiterated that the correct standard for determining whether a student has received a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) is whether the student has received “some” rather...more

12/22/2015 - Due Process Educational Institutions IDEA IEP Special Education

OSERS Issues Special Education Guidance

The Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services (OSERS), part of the United States Department of Education, recently issued two Dear Colleague letters, one related to students with dyslexia, dyscalculia, and...more

12/10/2015 - Dear Colleague Letter Disabled Children IDEA IEP No Child Left Behind Special Education

Seventh Circuit Finds School District Not Liable in Bullying Case

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, which is the federal appellate court with jurisdiction over Illinois, recently rejected an Indiana student’s claims against two school districts for allegedly improperly responding to...more

9/29/2015 - Appeals Bullying Due Process Educational Institutions Harassment School Districts

Illinois Passes Legislation Curbing Out-of-School Disciplinary Practices

On August 24, 2015, Governor Rauner signed into law Public Act 99-456. The Act requires school districts and charter schools to overhaul their discipline policies and is aimed at reducing the incidence of out-of-school...more

8/31/2015 - Charter Schools Disciplinary Proceedings Disparate Treatment DOE DOJ Educational Institutions Expulsion Public School Boards School Districts School Suspension Zero Tolerance Policies

ISBE Releases New Guidance on Medication Administration in Schools

In April, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) amended its 2010 guidance on self-administration of medication. Specifically, the new guidance document focuses on recent updates to Section 22-30 of the School Code (105...more

6/23/2015 - Board of Education Education Code Prescription Drugs Public Schools Students

How Does the Supreme Court’s Recent Facebook Decision Impact Schools?

In a recent decision, Elonis v. United States, the U.S. Supreme Court held that in order to convict a man for alleged threats made against his wife on Facebook, the prosecutor must show some level of intent. It was not enough...more

6/3/2015 - Criminal Prosecution Elonis v US Facebook First Amendment Public School Boards Public Schools School Districts SCOTUS Social Media Social Networks

Department of Education Closes 2014 with Prolific Guidance

The U.S. Department of Education (DOE) was busy the last quarter of 2014, issuing guidance on six issues, plus another already in 2015. The Dear Colleague Letters (DCL), Frequently Asked Questions, and Fact Sheets provide an...more

1/22/2015 - Bullying Civil Rights Act Department of Education Disability Equal Access National Origin New Guidance Public Schools Title IX

Circuit Court Finds Stay Put Does Not Apply to Unilateral Placement

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) provides that during the pendency of a dispute, a student must remain in his/her “then-current educational placement”; this is known as stay put. The IDEA does not,...more

9/3/2014 - Board of Education IDEA Private Schools Public Schools Students

Update: District Court Finds First Amendment Does Not Protect Former Guidance Counselor’s Sexually-Explicit Book

The Northern District Court of Illinois found that Rich Township High School District 227 did not violate the free speech rights of former guidance counselor and girls’ basketball coach Bryan Craig when it dismissed him based...more

8/20/2014 - Books Coaches Due Process First Amendment Former Employee Hiring & Firing Public School Boards Public Schools Teachers

OCR Issues Guidance Reminding Charter Schools of Application of Federal Civil Rights Laws

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) is responsible for enforcing Title VI of the Civil Rights Act (prohibiting discrimination based on race, color, or national origin), Title IX of the Civil...more

6/7/2014 - Anti-Discrimination Policies Charter Schools Department of Education Disabled Children OCR Title VII

Attorneys’ Fees Awarded To Charter School In IDEA Action

The District Court for the District of Columbia recently issued a decision awarding attorneys’ fees to a charter school (that operates as its own local education agency), finding that the parent’s attorney filed and continued...more

3/26/2014 - Attorney's Fees Charter Schools IDEA

Don’t Miss Two Changes To Special Education In The Illinois School Code

Two changes to the School Code took effect at the beginning of the 2013-2014 school year related to special education of which IEP teams should be aware. The first change relates to transition plans. ...more

10/30/2013 - IEP Public Schools Special Education

Provision Of FAPE Under The IDEA May Not Satisfy ADA For Students With Communication Impairments

In combined cases K.M. v. Tustin Unified School District and D.H. v. Poway Unified School District, the Ninth Circuit determined that although the school districts provided the students with hearing impairments with a free...more

9/18/2013 - ADA Disability IDEA Public Schools Students

Third Circuit Finds That Student Misidentified As Disabled Cannot Bring IDEA Suit Against District

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) provides that the parent of a child with a disability can bring a due process complaint against a school district to address disputes related to the identification,...more

9/18/2013 - ADA Disability IDEA Misclassification Public Schools Rehabilitation Act Students

Public Employee’s Testimony Entitled To First Amendment Protection

In Chrzanowski v. Bianchi, the Seventh Circuit considered the line between private speech of public employees on a matter of public concern, which is protected under the First Amendment, and speech made pursuant to a public...more

8/22/2013 - First Amendment Free Speech Public Employees

Ninth Circuit Finds Scheduling Difficulties Do Not Excuse District From Excluding Parent From IEP Meeting

In Doug C. v. State of Hawaii Department of Education, the IEP team had placed a student with autism in a private day school for the past 6 years....more

7/23/2013 - Disability IDEA Parental Rights Private Schools Scheduling Letters Students

ISBE Proposes To Repeal Regulation Targeting Special Education Class Size And General Education Definition

Since the IDEA’s precursor, the Education for All Handicapped Children’s Act, almost 40 years ago, ISBE has regulated the size and staffing of special education classrooms....more

6/20/2013 - IDEA ISBE Public Schools Special Education

District Court Finds First Amendment Does Not Protect Former Guidance Counselor’s Sexually-Explicit Book

The Northern District Court of Illinois found that Rich Township High School District 227 did not violate the free speech rights of former guidance counselor and girls’ basketball coach Bryan Craig when it dismissed him based...more

3/12/2013 - Due Process First Amendment Free Speech Hiring & Firing Teachers Termination

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