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July 2022

Dear Readers of The Extra Mile:

July began in devastating fashion, with the senseless and tragic shooting in Highland Park. Through the darkness of that day have shone many rays of light. We saw fellow parade-goers rushing to the immediate aide of the fallen, first responders of Highland Park and neighboring communities responding en masse, medical staff at hospitals in and around Highland Park fighting to save the injured, the community of Highland Park displaying togetherness and resilience in the face of evil, and the local school districts--North Shore 112 and THSD 113--serving as community hubs and resources to support all those affected. We are seeing people from everywhere rallying behind the families of the victims, including a truly inspiring outpouring of support for one of our fellow school leaders, Keely Roberts, her sons Cooper and Luke, and her entire family. And we are seeing leadership exemplified by the many school leaders who have offered to step in and help support Zion Elementary School District 6 in Keely's absence. We mourn the deaths of those we lost, we salute all who have supported Highland Park, and we stand with everyone who was affected. May our collective light shine through the darkness.

In school news, things are heating up as the new school year approaches. We have a dramatic and important Supreme Court decision in the praying-coach case; a new COVID disaster proclamation, Executive Order, guidance, and decision tree; new sex-education guidance from ISBE; and dates for our annual fall conference, The Year in Review: Highlights and Lowlights of Illinois School Law 2022.

Coach’s “Quiet” Prayers on Football Field are Protected by the First Amendment 

In a recent decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a public school district violated its high school football coach’s First Amendment rights when it disciplined him for defying the administration’s directives and praying on the football field immediately following games. Read more

Jeff Goelitz

Merely Discouraging Employee from Taking Leave May Violate the FMLA 

The Seventh Circuit clarified that, to state an FMLA-interference claim, an employee is not required to show that the employer denied the employee’s FMLA leave request. Rather, an employer may violate the FMLA merely by discouraging an employee from taking leave without actually denying an FMLA leave request. Read more

Ellen Rothenberg

State Tuition Assistance Program Limited to “Nonsectarian” Schools Violated First Amendment 

In a case that may have an impact on school funding programs, the U.S. Supreme Court considered a program in Maine and found that a nonsectarian requirement for families to receive tuition assistance violates the First Amendment.

Read more

Vanessa Clohessy

White House Issues Executive Order to Support LGBTQI+ Youth

On June 15, 2022, President Biden issued an Executive Order aimed at protecting LGBTQI+ youth. The Executive Order seeks to shield these youth from many recent state-level laws and initiatives aimed at decreasing legal protections for LGBTQI+ individuals. Read more

Jennifer Rosenberg

Cook County Taxing District Funding for Delayed Tax Receipts

According to a statement from Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle published in the Tribune, Cook County property tax bills are expected to be due before the end of 2022. To help taxing districts deal with delayed receipt of property tax revenues, President Preckwinkle also announced the Local Government Bridge Funding Program, allowing suburban Cook County taxing districts to apply for one-time Cook County-backed tax anticipation notes. Reportedly, taxing districts must meet certain criteria to qualify for the program. Specifically, they must be suburban Cook County districts with less than 120 days cash on hand and a bond rating lower than Cook County’s (A2 from Moody’s, A+ from S&P, and AA- from Fitch). Applications for the program are expected to be open through August, with funds being distributed in September. We will be monitoring Cook County’s formal posting of the application for this program. If your district has questions about this program, contact Tony Senagore, Steve Richart, or Heather Brickman.

Tony Senagore


The November election is approaching! If your District wishes to educate employees or board members about the legal restrictions on political activities in schools, contact Steve Richart or Kerry Pipal, or any of our Corporate Practice Group attorneys, for an in-service.

In October, Hodges Loizzi will be presenting its annual seminar, The Year in Review: Highlights and Lowlights of Illinois School Law 2022. This is a can't-miss event where you and your fellow school leaders will get all the latest news and practical tips on the most important school-law issues from the past year. We are excited to be returning to an in-person format once again, with the following seminar offerings...watch for registration details in the coming days:

October 4 in Peoria

October 12 in Collinsville

October 27 in Oak Brook

In November, at the IASB-IASA-IASBO Joint Annual Conference in Chicago:

  • The firm will be hosting a special event for clients and friends the evening of Friday, November 18, from 4:00 to 7:00 PM. Mark the date in your calendars and watch for your invite in the coming days.

  • Heather Brickman, Michelle Todd, and Jeff Goelitz will be presenting "Legally Stumped?"a Q&A and panel discussion on topics of interest to school board members and administratorsfrom 8:30-9:30 AM on Sunday, November 20.

In January 2023, at IASPA's Annual Conference:

  • Barbara Erickson will be presenting "How Can I Help You? A Systematic Approach to Accommodating Employees"

  • Jeff Goelitz will be presenting "Writing Evaluations that Withstand Scrutiny"
  • On June 23, 2022, the U.S. Department of Education announced proposed changes to the regulations implementing Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. An unofficial copy of the proposed regulations is available here, with additional resources available here (fact sheet) and here (summary of changes). On July 12, 2022, the proposed regulations were published in the Federal Register, beginning the 60-day comment period. Public comment will be accepted until September 12, 2022. While the proposed regulations are under review, the 2020 Title IX regulations remain in effect. 


  • ISBE’s Sexual Health webpage now includes resources for school districts and parents on sexual health education. In addition, the National Sex Education Standards were adopted as the Illinois Learning Standards for sexual health education on June 14, 2022. These standards were adopted as required by Public Act 102-0522, the Comprehensive Personal Health and Safety and Sexual Health Education Act. For more information on the Act’s requirements, see our article here.

  • We've moved our main office. Our new address is 500 Park Blvd, Suite 1000, Itasca, Illinois, 60143. Please update your contacts for any mailed correspondence. Email and phone numbers remain the same.
  • Remember to present to your Board and file your District's administrator and teacher salary and benefits report with ISBE in August.

  • With your district's parent-teacher advisory committee, review your student discipline policies and implementation, and any other safety factors. Also consult with your PTAC and other community-based organizations to address aggressive behavior, including bullying, in your student behavior policy.


Latest figures: May 2022

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