image4.gif
Lighting the way...
IASB.com

My Account

 


 

SCHOOL LAW


Amicus Report
Tools: Print | Email

IASB files Amicus Curiae (“friend of the court”) briefs in a limited number of important appellate cases having statewide significance. In an Amicus brief, IASB presents its perspective on a legal matter having public policy implications. IASB frequently joins with other management associations to file an Amici brief.

Management associations celebrate success in OMA case involving Springfield school district

In an update to this case, IASB, IASA, and Illinois ASBO filed an Amici brief with the Illinois Supreme Court in a case involving whether the board’s action to approve a separation plan and agreement with the superintendent violated the Open Meetings Act. The Illinois Supreme Court has agreed with the lower courts, issuing a very favorable decision for public bodies in Illinois on January 20, 2017.

The decision means that during a validly conducted closed session, board members may continue to express their individual positions without fear they are taking impermissible final action. Activities in closed session like taking a straw poll or signing a document are permissible provided the board later takes final action in a properly conducted open session. The critical requirement is that the final vote be taken at an open session. In addition, the Open Meetings Act only requires that the board advise the public about the general nature of the matter under consideration with sufficient detail to identify the particular transaction or issue. Final action does not, as the Attorney General claimed, require that the board provide a detailed explanation about the significance or impact of the proposed final action or the “key terms,” in this case, of the agreement at issue. It is worth noting that the board in this case also posted with its notice and agenda to the public for this meeting the links to the information that the Attorney General claimed should have been recited in the school board’s motion on the topic at issue.

We wish to thank our lawyers, James Petrungaro and Kevin Gordon, Scariano, Himes and Petrarca, CHTD. They wrote the Amicus gratis for benefit of our members. Their outstanding work on this case deserves high praise.

Click here to read the opinion.


IASB and IASA Amici brief a success | School boards hold final decision-making authority in for cause tenured teacher dismissals | SB 7 dismissal procedures upheld

IASB and IASA filed an Amici brief this past summer with the Illinois Supreme Court in Beggs v. Board of Education of Murphysboro Community Unit School Dist. No. 186, a case involving the standard of review in the School Code post "Senate Bill 7," which is applied in every for cause tenured teacher dismissal case that occurs outside of Chicago, Illinois. The Court issued a very favorable decision on Dec. 1, 2016. And school boards now have strong case law behind their role as the final decision makers in for cause dismissals.

The issue centered on whether Section 24-12(d)(9)'s mandate that the reviewing Court "give consideration to the school board's decision and its supplemental findings of fact, if applicable, and the hearing officer's findings of fact and recommendation in making its decision" alters the standard of review imposed by the Administrative Review Law.

The Amici brief urged that "Senate Bill 7's" legislative changes were meant to restore the final decision-making authority to school boards in for cause tenured teacher dismissal cases – and the Court agreed.

The Court found that "the plain statutory language of section 24-12 provides that the decision of the school board is the final decision for purposes of administrative review" and "the legislature reformed the School Code to eliminate the hearing officer as the final decision maker." As a result, it held that "traditional standards of review for administrative proceedings" are applicable. The resolution of this issue has significant impact on the ability of school boards to dismiss tenured teachers for cause and fulfill the Illinois General Assembly's intent of improving the quality of teachers in Illinois.

IASB and IASA are grateful to Stan Eisenhammer, Jessica Walker, and Mary Karagiannis of Hodges, Loizzi, Eisenhammer, Rodick & Kohn LLP, for writing an exceptional brief on a complex issue. Click here to read the Amici brief for an understanding of the importance of this case. Click here to read the opinion.


IASB and IASA filed an Amici in a Charter School Case Supporting Woodland CCSD 50

Despite IASB's and IASA's strong Amici brief, the appellate court ruled against Woodland CCSD 50 in its action against the Ill. State Charter School Commission, Prairie Crossing Charter School, and ISBE. The Ill. Supreme Court denied Woodland's Petition for Leave to Appeal making the appellate decision final: school districts do not have standing to be involved in a charter school's renewal process. Woodland CCSD 50 v. Illinois State Charter School Commission, Prairie Crossing Charter School, and ISBE, 2015 IL App (1st) 151372-U ( Ill.App. 2015), filed under Supreme Court Rule 23 and may not be cited as precedent by any party except in the limited circumstances; Petition of Leave to Appeal denied March 2016.

IASB and IASA are grateful to Caroline Roselli and Rachel Lutner, Robbins, Schwartz, Nicholas, Lifton, & Taylor, Ltd., for writing an exceptional brief in this case.

Click here to read the Amici brief for an understanding of the important issues in this case.


Update - Illinois Supreme Court Says School District is Subject to Municipal Zoning

Gruba v. Community High School District 155 ( Crystal Lake), 2015 IL 118332 (9-24-2015). The Illinois Supreme Court has held that a school district is subject to, and its school board must comply with, local government zoning and storm water restrictions, i.e., a city's zoning powers.

Click here to read " Illinois Supreme Court Says School District is Subject to Municipal Zoning." Link formatted and its contents reprinted, with permission, from Brian Crowley. © 2015 Franczek Radelet, P.C. All rights reserved.


Management Associations Support CHSD 155 ( Crystal Lake) in Zoning Case

IASB, Illinois ASBO, and IASA filed an Amici brief. The brief explained how subjecting school buildings and ancillary structures to unfettered local zoning and land use regulations would frustrate and impede the ability of school districts to implement the statewide mission of providing high quality public education.

IASB, Illinois ASBO, and IASA are grateful to Franczek Radelet, P.C. for writing an exceptional brief in this case.

Click here to read the Amici brief for an understanding of the important issues in this case.

Return to School Law

  

PRESS Plus Tutorial
Click on Banner for More Information

Although the IASB Web site strives to provide accurate and authoritative information, the Illinois Association of School Boards does not guarantee or warrantee the accuracy or quality of information contained herein.

Copyright 1999-2017 by the Illinois Association of School Boards. All rights reserved.
IASB Privacy Policy Statement