September 22, 2017: Important Change to Student Records Timeline

Effective September 22, 2017, the timeline has changed for responding to requests for student records in Illinois.   Under longstanding previous law, school districts had 15 school days following receipt of a request for records to provide the requested records.  Public Act 100-0532 (formerly known as Senate Bill 1483) – revises the Illinois School Student Records … Read more…

February 22, 2017: Feds Rescind Guidance on Transgender Students

Today, a “Dear Colleague” letter (“DCL”) issued jointly by the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Education rescinded the much-debated guidance on transgender students in schools issued by the Departments in May 2016.  In a two-page letter, the Departments state that states and local school districts have the primary role in establishing … Read more…

February 22, 2017: U.S. Supreme Court Issues Decision In Service Dog/Exhaustion Case

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a 8-0 decision that may make it easier for students with disabilities to file lawsuits under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and/or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 immediately, rather than first pursuing claims through the IDEA’s  administrative process. The decision comes in a case – … Read more…

August 24, 2016: Court Upholds $2.5M Verdict in Case Where Teacher Failed to Follow District Policy

The Appellate Court of Illinois, Second District, has upheld a $2.5 million jury verdict awarded to the family of an 18-year-old student who collapsed and died during a class at Oswego Community High School. See In re Estate of Jeffrey Stewart, 2016 IL App (2d) 151117 (August 24, 2016). When Jeffrey Stewart collapsed, his teacher … Read more…

July 28, 2016: ED Stresses Importance of Ensuring Continuity Of Education for Homeless Students

Today the U.S. Department of Education (“ED”) issued guidance and a Dear Colleague Letter today outlining the educational rights of homeless children and youths under Section 724(c) of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (McKinney-Vento Act), as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The number of homeless students has increased in recent years, and … Read more…

July 26, 2016: ED Issues Guidance on School District Obligations to Students with ADHD Under Section 504

The U.S. Department of Education (“ED”) today issued a Dear Colleague Letter and Resource Guide on Students with ADHD Under Section 504 to provide guidance on the obligations school districts have to students with ADHD under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. ED began its guidance by noting that more children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity … Read more…

December 10, 2015: Out With The NCLB, In With The ESSA

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) was signed into law today by President Obama, putting an end to No Child Left Behind (NCLB).  The ESSA shifts responsibility for school accountability from the federal government to the states. The new law is intended to provide states with more flexibility in determining solutions for underperforming schools than the prior “one-size-fits-all” approach of the NCLB that was often criticized.

Read more…