QUARTERLY E-NEWSLETTER October – December 2011 LEGAL UPDATESDecember 2011 New regulation amendments are proposed regarding mandating reporting in Illinois, adding physician assistants, LPCPs, field personnel from the Department of Healthcare and Family Services and the Department of Human Services, LPCs, acupuncturists, animal control officers, Illinois Department of Agriculture animal health and welfare investigators, members of any district school board (including the Chicago Board of Education) and members of the governing body of any private school to the list of professionals mandated to report known or suspected cases of child abuse or neglect to DCFS. The ISBE issued formal guidance regarding the Performance Evaluation Reform Act and Senate Bill 7, the recently created Public Acts bills which revise the way performance evaluations of all teachers and principals in Illinois are conducted. The Act created the Performance Evaluation Advisory Council, comprised of teachers, principals, superintendents and "other interested stakeholders" to advise ISBE on the development and implementation of improved performance evaluation systems and supports. Final regulations for the Reform Act are currently awaiting public comment, however ISBE has developed the before-mentioned non-regulatory guidance regarding implementation of the Act until formal regulations are passed into law.November 2011 A recent HB 605 was approved by the Senate and sent to the Governor for signature, making changes to the reporting requirements for school district report cards. The new bill requires districts to provide additional information, including curriculum and specific special education program information, student outcomes and progress and attendance information for students, teachers and administrators.October 2011 A recent Family Policy Compliance Office ruling (110 LRP 51087) allows districts to limit access to their 18-year-old daughters records, despite having a Power of Attorney, as FERPA does not require a district to provide access to anyone other than the eligible student. The Department of Children and Family Services adopted emergency amendments to its regulations regarding the administration of psychotropic medications for children under its custody (89 Ill. Admin. Code 325). The new regulations: 1) Requires DCFS and private agency caseworkers and investigators to identify potential medical and mental health issues, 2) Requires DCFS to publish its psychotropic medication administration guidelines and list of medications on its website, and 3) Designates an Oversight Treatment Team to review decisions to administer psychotropic medications. Proposed Illinois SB 512 would make pension changes that would affect employees who currently participate in the Teachers Retirement System (TRS). Under the proposal, TRS-participating employees would have to select one of three pension plan options: 1) Remain in the plan with the current TRS benefits but pay a higher contribution rate, 2) Change to the "Tier II" plan and pay a lower contribution rate, or 3) Participate in a 401(k) type plan.
RECENT PUBLICATIONS Bullying and School Liability Case Summaries Compensation of Nonprofit Board Members and Board Immunity Illinois Eavesdropping Statute Requests to Observe Public School Programs: Policy Suggestions and forms UPCOMING PRESENTATIONS Date Title/Topic Organization January/February 2012 School Law Aurora University 1/31/12 Individual Education Plan – Be an Active Warren Township Youth and and Informed Partner in the IEP Process Family Services 2/3/12 and 2/4/12 Legal Issues Impacting Students with Illinois Council for Children with E/BD, including Anti-Bullying Legislation Behavioral Disorders 4/19/12 The Effects of Bullying and Being Bullied: The Balanced Mind Foundation What Works, What Doesn’t Work 6/12/12 Lawfully Managing School Records NBI-SEMS Without Violating Privacy Rights This e-newsletter is provided as a courtesy only. For the most up to date and additional information, please visit Whitted Cleary & Takiff’s website at www.wct-law.com. Please also note that the information you obtain from this e-newsletter and our website is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney foradvice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters and electronic mail. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.