April/May 2021
Dear Readers of The Extra Mile:

Schools are back from Spring Breaks and in the home stretch of the school year. This is an exciting time, but also a time full of unknowns as we plan for next school year. What will the COVID numbers be in the fall? Will the quarantine requirements change between now and then? Will a student vaccine be available? Will remote learning continue to be a requirement? Or even a legal option? As always, we will continue to apprise you of updates in these areas and partner with school leaders to chart the best course for each of your schools.

This season, we also welcome new faces at school board meetings as new board members are seated around the state. Congratulations to all the successful candidates. We welcome you to this newsletter and encourage you to add your new board members to the mailing list to receive the latest school law updates.

We are pleased to announce the upcoming release of our latest edition of “A School Board Member’s Handbook,” an invaluable resource for new board members that summarizes critical legal issues for school boards. Retainer clients will receive complimentary copies in the weeks ahead. If you are not a retainer client or wish to order additional copies, submit your pre-order today!

Finally, speaking of new faces, we are thrilled to announce that Hodges Loizzi partner Jennifer Mueller Rosenberg gave birth to her daughter Leah on April 1 (no fooling!). Congratulations to Jennifer and her husband, Sam, on the adorable addition to their family!

We turn now to an alphabet soup of legal updates regarding the ADA, FOIA, OMA, and Title IX.
No Accommodation Required for an Employee Who Cannot Perform Essential Functions of the Job

A federal appellate court held that an employer did not have to accommodate its nurse employee after she was severely injured in an accident, although it had modified her job duties for two years, because she was no longer able to perform the essential functions of the job. Read more
28,000 Pages Not Unduly Burdensome Per Se Under FOIA

An Illinois appellate court ruled that a FOIA request estimated to require CPS to sift through 28,000 pages of documents was not automatically unduly burdensome. Read more
City Violated OMA by Entering into Closed Session When Litigation Was Neither Probable nor Imminent

The City of Hillsboro was found to have violated the OMA when it entered closed session to discuss an issue involving a sewer main that the City Council believed could result in litigation. However, because litigation was neither pending, probable, nor imminent, the discussion of the issue in closed session was improper. Read more
OCR Launches Comprehensive Review of Title IX Regulations

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights has announced a comprehensive review of Title IX regulations and guidance in response to President Biden’s prior Executive Order. Read more
INSIGHTS FOR SCHOOL LEADERS
Collective Bargaining Workshop. Join Cindi DeCola and Tony Loizzi when they present on collective bargaining as part of IASA's Regional Workshop on May 5 at 10:00 a.m. Click here to learn more.

Board Member Handbook. Pre-order your copy of the 2021 Revised Handbook, a guide for school board members and administrators alike, filled with easily understandable summaries of the major laws affecting Illinois public schools. Click HERE to pre-order.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

  • ISBE releases new guidebook, Return to In-Person: Lessons Learned from the Pandemic. Read more

  • SCOTUS recently heard oral argument on what could be a hugely important case on schools’ authority to discipline students for off-campus speech on social media. Listen to the oral argument here
TAKE NOTE
  • Adopt a resolution to transfer or designate interest earnings on funds before June 30 to prevent conversion to principal under ISBE Regulations. Contact Heather Brickman with inquiries.

  • This is normally the time to update student handbooks. Click HERE to pre-order the newly revised HLERK Student Handbook Checklist or contact Ben Shaw to request a comprehensive review of your student handbooks.

  • Schools have until May 31 to complete a "timely and meaningful consultation" with representatives of private and home-schooled students in order to determine special education "proportionate share" services for private/home-schooled students with disabilities.
CONSUMER PRICE INDEX
The Extra Mile is intended solely to provide information to the school community. It is neither legal advice nor a substitute for legal counsel. It is intended as advertising but not as a solicitation of an attorney/client relationship. 

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