Illinois Special Education Law Update, HB 3586 Gets Some Minor Changes

Nov 19, 2019

by Elizabeth Kelly and Merry Rhoades

Last week, the Illinois General Assembly wrapped up its fall veto session. Notably, one of the items on the veto session agenda was HB 3586 ““ the new law from August 2019 impacting school districts and special education cooperatives across the state. Though no great substantive changes were made to HB 3586, below is a quick overview of what has changed under veto session legislation SB 0460.

Hit the Pause Button on HB 3586 “¦ Kind of:

In August, HB 3586 went into effect, imposing new requirements on schools aimed at encouraging and initiating greater parental participation. One of the new requirements brought about by HB 3586 is that, at least 3 days before an eligibility or annual review meeting, all written materials to be considered by the IEP team at the upcoming meeting must be provided to the parents/guardians. When passed, this 3-day rule was immediately effective upon the bill becoming law. However, Veto Session legislation SB 0460 has changed this. Now, the requirement that all written materials be provided 3 days ahead of the eligibility or annual review meeting does not go into effect until July 1, 2020.

What does this change mean? For the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year, schools must provide a draft IEP and related materials to the parents/guardians within 5 days of any IEP meeting, as was required under the law before HB 3586 was passed. With that being said, if your school or cooperative has already implemented the 3-day rule, it is okay to maintain this new practice. For those programs still working to implement the 3-day rule, though, you now have until July 1, 2020.

Related Service Logs Are Here to Stay:

Unlike the extension given for implementing the 3-day rule, there was no change in the effective date concerning related services logs. Related service providers should continue to fill out their related services logs and schools should continue to make the logs available for review at both annual meetings and upon a parent’s request. Similarly, schools are still required to provide parents/guardians notice of missed services.

Response to Intervention and MTSS Data Rules Get Simpler:

Finally, HB 3586 originally made it mandatory to utilize RtI and MTSS as part of an evaluation process for a student who was being evaluated for special education and related services with a possible SLD eligibility. This is no longer the case. Under the new SB 0460 clean-up, MTSS and RtI may be used, but are not required to be used, for determining eligibility under an SLD eligibility. This makes the rule consistent for all 13 eligibility categories ““ you can use such data, but are not required to use it, when determining eligibility for services under any category of eligibility.

Illinois Education – Tueth Keeney is proud to be one of the state’s largest Illinois education law practices. The firm has one of the most experienced groups of attorneys in Central and Southern Illinois dedicated to serving public schools. We regularly represent nearly 150 public school districts, including many districts in Central and Southern Illinois. Our Firm is also regularly appointed by insurers of educational institutions to represent districts in complex or difficult cases involving school or civil rights laws.

Elizabeth Kelly practices primarily in the areas of school law and finance, and labor and employment. She represents school districts throughout Illinois in matters concerning student rights and special education, as well as school finance, board policy and governance, compliance with the Illinois Freedom of Information Act and the Illinois Open Meetings Act, and employment and personnel issues. As the daughter of public educators and a superintendent of schools, Elizabeth has a unique insight into the real-world impact and implications that go with the decision-making responsibilities that fall on public school administrators and Boards of Education. Prior to joining the firm, Elizabeth practiced tax law at a large firm in Chicago.

Merry Rhoades has more than 30 years of experience representing Illinois public education institutions.   Because of her 30-plus years of experience, she has key insights regarding the day-to-day operation of a school district ranging from board governance matters to board policy matters to student matters to special education matters. She is an active member of several school related organizations and serves as a member of the Illinois Council of School Attorneys Executive Committee and also the Illinois Association of School Boards (IASB) PRESS advisory committee.