by Christine Self
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) filed a Notice of Emergency Rule Making today, September 17, 2021, to address mandatory vaccinations for school personnel, as required by Governor Pritzker’s Executive Order 2021-22.
The Emergency Rules state that school personnel are required to have the first dose of a two-dose vaccine or the single dose vaccine by September 19, 2021, or submit to weekly testing in lieu of vaccination if vaccination is medically contraindicated or would require an individual to violate or forgo a sincerely held religious belief, practice, or observance. 23 Ill. Adm. Code §6.30(a),(c). Schools shall exclude school personnel who are acting in their school-based role and are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19 unless they comply with the testing requirements. 23 Ill. Adm. Code §6.30(d).
The testing requirements include weekly testing (at a minimum) for all school personnel who are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19 for any reason. 23 Ill. Adm. Code §6.40(a). If school personnel are part of a COVID-19 outbreak at the school, and are not fully vaccinated, they must be tested two times per week for the duration of the outbreak and be excluded if they do not comply. 23 Ill. Adm. Code §6.40(a).
Schools may determine compliance of school personnel who are not employed by the school or school district by requiring the contracting entity to collect proof of vaccination and submit an attestation to the school that such proof was collected. 23 Ill. Adm. Code §6.50.
Schools must maintain records for school personnel as fully vaccinated, unvaccinated and compliant with the testing requirements of Section 6.40, or excluded from school premises in accordance with Section 6.30(d), 6.40(a), or 6.40(b). Proof of vaccination and COVID-19 test results must be maintained by the school or school district in compliance with applicable law. 23 Ill. Adm. Code §6.60.
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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.
Christine Self practices in the areas of education law and employment law. She has developed employment policies and advised public employers on labor matters and laws such as the Freedom of Information Act and the Illinois Open Meetings Act. She has experience with collective bargaining and disciplinary investigations into employee misconduct. As a former public school teacher, she is committed to assisting schools navigate the legal requirements of the education environment so school leaders and educators can provide the best educational opportunities for students.