Reminder of New Laws Concerning School Districts Effective 1/1/2011


Reminder of New Laws Concerning School Districts Effective 1/1/2011

Jan 3, 2011

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The following laws have an effective date of January 1, 2011.

Open Meetings Act Changes

Public Act 96-1473 amends the Open Meetings Act in three ways:

  1. A public body must approve minutes of an open meeting within 30 days after the meeting or at the second subsequent meeting of the public body, whichever is the later;
  2. Approved open session minutes must be made available to the public within 10 days of approval (previously 7 days) and if the public body maintains a website, the approved minutes must also be posted to the website; and
  3. A public body must permit any person the opportunity to address public officials under rules established by the public body.[1]

Employee Credit Privacy Act

Public Act 96-1426 prevents employers from inquiring or obtaining a credit report or using the credit history or credit report from employees or applicants to make employment-related decisions, unless a satisfactory credit history is an established bona fide occupational requirement (“BFOR”) for the position. In order to satisfy the statutory BFOR, one of the following must be present:

  • State or federal law requires bonding or other security covering an individual holding the position.
  • Duties of the position include custody of or unsupervised access to cash or marketable assets valued at $2,500 or more.
  • Duties of the position include signatory power over business assets of $100 or more per transaction.
  • Managerial position which involves setting the direction or control of the business.
  • Position involves access to personal or confidential information, financial information, trade secrets, or State or national security information.

Access to Law Enforcement Records

For the purpose of preventing foreseeable future violence, Public Act 96-1414, allows a local law enforcement agency to disclose to an appropriate school official, the identity of a victim of aggravated battery, battery, attempted first degree murder, or other non-sexual violent offense, provided there is a written agreement between the school district and law enforcement agency, subject to approval by the presiding judge of the juvenile court.

Family Military Leave Act Changes

Public Act 96-1417 extends 30 days of unpaid family military leave from employment during the time when federal or state deployment orders are in effect to children and grandparents of service members (previously, spouses and parents of service members only).

  • If leave requested is 5 or more consecutive work days, eligible employee must give at least 14 days notice of the need for leave.
  • If less than 5 consecutive work days, eligible employee must give notice as soon as practicable.

Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) at Outdoor Facilities

Public Act 96-1268 deletes the Physical Fitness Facility Medical Emergency Preparedness Act’s requirement that, if there is no building housing an AED near the outdoor facility, the person responsible for supervising a fitness activity there must ensure that an AED is available at the site during the activity.

Transportation Reimbursement for Early Education Pupils

Public Act 96-1264 provides that, when calculating reimbursement for transportation costs, ISBE must include children enrolled in early education programs in the number of students for whose transport the district may claim reimbursement, if the early education students are transported at the same time as other eligible pupils.

“Sexting” Violations

Public Act 96-1087 provides that a person under age 18 who distributes or disseminates “an indecent visual depiction of another minor through the use of a computer or electronic communication device” may be subject to Juvenile Court proceedings and adjudged a minor in need of supervision (a non-delinquent status). A minor found to be in need of supervision by reason of “sexting” activity may be ordered to obtain counseling or other support services to address the misconduct, or to perform community service. This would allow minors who engage in consensual “sexting” to avoid the long-term consequences of the criminal system.

Emancipation Proclamation Week

Public Act 96-1238 designates the first full week of January of each year as Emancipation Proclamation Week for holding appropriate education and celebratory events and observances in public schools and to remember Abraham Lincoln’s work to end slavery.