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Attorney General’s Office Finds School Board Held Improper Discussion in Closed Session

The Attorney General’s Office recently issued a non-binding opinion concluding that a board of education improperly discussed matters in closed session that were not within the scope of the exceptions on which the board...more

PAC Upholds Municipality’s Denial of Request for FOIA Fee Waiver

The Public Access Counselor recently issued a non-binding opinion holding that public bodies have the discretion to decide whether to waive or reduce copying fees associated with the production of documents responsive to FOIA...more

Supreme Court Refines Legal Standard for Special Education

Thirty five years ago, in Board of Education of Hendricks Hudson District v. Rowley, the Supreme Court ruled that, under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, schools must provide students with an individualized...more

Supreme Court Holds IDEA Exhaustion Required When Crux of Complaint Is a Denial of FAPE

The Supreme Court issued its opinion in Fry v. Napoleon yesterday. The case asked the court to interpret the IDEA provision stating that the Act does not limit the rights or remedies available under the Americans with...more

IL Supreme Court Interprets OMA Requirement for Public Recital Prior to Final Action

The Illinois Supreme Court recently affirmed the decisions of the lower courts, which had overturned a Public Access Counselor opinion, in Board of Education of Springfield School District No. 186 v. the Attorney General of...more

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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
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