Quick Guide-Education Law Updates

This is NOT an exhaustive list nor legal advice.
This is round 2 of the series! If you are looking for more new laws, check out the previous post on family law HERE.
If you have questions about how these laws may impact you and your family, feel free to reach out to Harmening Law!

Overlap: There are a few things that are really important for families to know, and overlap with my last post.  Those include issues about asthma, concussions, dental exams, education savings accounts, and vaccine information.  Although very important, this list will cover different issues.

  1. Active Threat/Shooter Drill: We are all familiar with the age-old evacuation and natural disaster drills hosted at school every year, but our legislature added an additional and sadly important law to the books this year.  All schools are now required to have a drill for an active threat or shooter within 90 days of the first day of school.
  2. Black History: Public Universities and Community Colleges in Illinois must offer a course in Black History.  A number of revisions related to this law are attached in the link.
  3. Busing: Yellow school buses (with proper criteria) can now transport children under 18 to any activity (without someone like a camp counselor on the bus with the kids).
  4. Dual Credit: School Boards, Community Colleges, and Public Universities are required to work together to grant and credit dual credit courses.  Boards may not limit the number of dual credit courses a student registers for in person or online.  Higher Education programs must grant said dual credit to students who complete the courses. (Additional citations here)
  5. Joint Committees: Require joint committees (combination of district and teachers) to meet once annually to review teacher evaluation plans.
  6. Oath of Office (Board of Education): The Oath of Office for folks taking their seat as a member of their Board of Education has been completely overhauled. (Highlights- Protect school district assets, create structure and environment for all to attain maximum potential, foster excellence for every student in the areas of: academic skills, knowledge, citizenship, and personal development)
  7. Teacher Evaluations: In addition to the law regarding creation and implementation of Joint Committees, school districts (like Chicago Public Schools (CPS)) are now required to provide copies of teacher evaluations to the local bargaining representative (like Chicago Teachers Union (CTU)) within 7 days of issuing the evaluation.  That is a QUICK turnaround.
  8. Teacher Training: Another sad but necessary change, this increases the training for teachers regarding mental illness and suicidal behavior.
  9. Truancy (Early Childhood): This puts the responsibility on the early childhood school programs to help with chronic absences and develop plans to fix the issues.
  10. Truancy (Special Ed Services): This helps parents with students with special needs to keep those students at home if there is a real issue regarding special education services or placement.  NOTE: There are very limited and specific circumstances in which this applies and you should consult an attorney before holding your child from school and possibly violating the law.
NOTE: While I was going through the newly passed laws I used a combination of resources.  There are MANY places that report incorrect information/bills that have not passed. Be sure you are cross-referencing and checking for citations (like the links I provide above).


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