QUARTERLY E-NEWSLETTER January – March 2012 LEGAL UPDATESMarch 2012 Two new Federal bills, the Student Success Act (HR 3989) and the Encouraging Innovation and Effective Teachers Act (HR 3990) recently have been introduced to the House of Representatives, which would revise the No Child Left Behind Act, allowing more flexibility for states to design, develop and implement their own educational strategies for improving education in the public schools. The Acts would also eliminate the Annual Yearly Progress ("AYP") requirement, as well as the "highly qualified teacher" definition, allowing states to develop their own teacher evaluation system. In addition, it would allow individual states to determine which schools were "failing" and how they should be remediated. A newly proposed Illinois House bill (HB 4495) mandates that school guidance counselors, teachers, school social workers, and other school personnel who work with students in grades 7 through 12 to be trained in identifying the warning signs of mental illness and suicidal behavior (instead of just suicidal behavior).February 2012 A new federal House Resolution (H.R. 2218) was recently passed onto the Senate regarding charter schools. Titled "Empowering Parents Through Quality Charter Schools Act," the resolution calls for states to expand the number of high-quality charter schools available to students, focusing on students with disabilities, limited English proficiency and other "traditionally under-served students." The resolution also establishes a $300 million competitive grant program for states, charter school boards and governors to help fund the initiative. The ISBE recently amended its rules and regulations regarding the Illinois School Students Records Act. The revisions include additional definitions of what comprises a students record, adding in "accident reports," video or electronic records maintained by law enforcement professionals working in the school, electronic recordings from school buses, and video/electronic recordings related to "special education placement hearings and appeals." The Department of Defense issued revised regulations which would allow licensed professional counselors (LCPCs) to practice independently as mental health counselors within TRICARE, the government insurance program offered to active duty service members, retirees and their families. Previously, the regulations mandated that LCPCs be supervised and referred by monitoring physicians. Comments to the regulations are being heard until February 27, 2012, after which they will be codified.January 2012 WCT associate attorney, Shermin S. Ali-Andani, has been appointed by Governor Pat Quinn to serve on the Illinois Muslim American Advisory Councils ("MAAC") Policy and Legislative Affairs Committee. The group will provide strategic direction to better integrate Muslim Americans in State policies and programs in areas including education, public safety, jobs, veterans affairs, healthcare, and human services. For more information about the MAAC, please visit its website at http://www2.illinois.gov/gov/MAAC/Pages/default.aspx.
UPCOMING PRESENTATIONS Date Title/Topic Organization 6/12/12 Taking a Closer Look on How School NBI Records are Defined 6/12/12 Privacy and Ethics in School and Mental n/a Health LawThis 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 for advice 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.