New Laws Effective Immediately

By Alison Maley posted 09-08-2021 10:49

As new bills have been signed into law, we have been posting about them here on Connect. In case you missed any updates, please see below for laws that are immediately effective and are of interest to school leaders.

Public Act 102-0051 - Effective Immediately, a school board must allow a student athlete to modify his or her athletic or team uniform for the purpose of modesty in clothing or attire that is in accordance with the requirements of his or her religion or his or her cultural values or modesty preferences. The modification of the athletic or team uniform may include, but is not limited to, the wearing of a hijab, an undershirt, or leggings.

If a student chooses to modify his or her athletic or team uniform, the student is responsible for all costs associated with the modification of the uniform and the student shall not be required to receive prior approval from the school board for such modification.

At a minimum, any modification of the athletic or team uniform must not interfere with the movement of the student or pose a safety hazard to the student or to other athletes or players. The modification of headgear is permitted if the headgear: (1) is black, white, the predominant color of the uniform, or the same color for all players on the team; (2) does not cover any part of the face; (3) is not dangerous to the player or to the other players; (4) has no opening or closing elements around the face and neck; and (5) has no parts extruding from its surface.

Public Act 102-134, which was signed and immediately went into effect on July 23, 2021, provides that "each school district shall provide contact information for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and for the Crisis Text Line on the back of each student identification card issued by the school district. If the school district does not issue student identification cards to its students or to all of its students, the school district must publish this information on its website."

Public Act 102-172 allows a student with an IEP who requires continued public schooling to facilitate his or her successful transition into adult life is generally eligible for such services through age 21, which means the day before the student's 22nd birthday. However, in accordance with this new law, if the student's 22nd birthday occurs during the school year, the student is now eligible for services through the end of the school year in which he or she turns 22. This new law is now in effect.

Public Act 102-173 allows students with an IEP who turned 22 years old during the 2020-21 school year to re-enroll in school for the entire 2021-22 school year if the following conditions are met:
  • The student has an IEP and turned 22 years old during the 2020-21 school year;
  • The student's "in-person instruction, services, or activities" were suspended for a period of 3 months or more due to COVID; and
  • The student still lives in the school district that provided services when the student turned 22 years old.
If a student meets the above eligibility requirements and chooses to return to school, the student's IEP goals that were in effect on the student's 22nd birthday must be resumed unless there is an agreement to modify the goals to meet the student's transition needs.

Certain exceptions exist for private therapeutic day schools and residential programs.

By August 26, 2021, school districts must notify each eligible student by sending the above information to the last known address of the student or the student's parent or guardian.

Public Act 102-357 (SB 654) - Requires all public schools to provide daily time for supervised, unstructured, child-directed play for all students in kindergarten through grade 5.
  • Play time shall be considered clock hours. For any school day 5 clock hours or longer in length, the total time allotted for play for students in kindergarten through grade 5 must be at least 30 minutes. For any school day less than 5 clock hours in length, the total time allotted for play each school day must be at least one-tenth of a day of attendance.
  • Play time may be divided into play periods of at least 15 consecutive minutes in length. 
  • All public schools shall prohibit the withholding of play time as a disciplinary or punitive action, except when a student's participation in play time poses an immediate threat to the safety of the student or others.
  • Effective August 13, 2021.

Public Act 102-339 (HB 219) - Aligns statute to rules adopted by the State Board of Education governing the use of and reporting of time out and physical restraint in the public schools.
  • Isolated time out, time out, and physical restraint, other than prone physical restraint, may be used only if (i) the student's behavior presents an imminent danger of serious
    physical harm to the student or to others; (ii) other less restrictive and intrusive measures have been tried and have proven to be ineffective in stopping the imminent danger of serious physical harm; (iii) there is no known medical contraindication to its use on the student; and (iv) the school staff member or members applying the use of time out, isolated time out, or physical restraint on a student have been trained in its safe application, as established by rule by the State Board of Education.
  • Prone restraint is prohibited after the 2021-2022 school year and may only be used under specific conditions. 
  • Effective August 13, 2021.

Public Act 102-366 (SB 1830) - Beginning with pupils entering the 9th grade in the 2021-2022 school year and each school year thereafter, one semester, or part of one semester of social studies, may include a financial literacy course. Effective August 13, 2021.

Public Act 102-522 establishes new comprehensive personal health and safety and comprehensive sexual health education requirements.  The Governor signed the bill into law on August 20, 2021.  These requirements go into effect immediately.  Please see the resources below to assist you in implementing this new law.
IPA Guide to Understanding P.A. 102-522
ACLU Guide to Comprehensive Sexual Health in Illinois
ACLU Draft Resources for Implementing P.A. 102-522