After pushback from Illinois school districts, an amendment to the Illinois School Code’s special education provisions will alleviate some, but not all, frustrations related to a recent law that added significant procedural requirements for special education teams. Senate Bill 460 (Public Act 101-0598) amended the Children with Disabilities Article of the School Code to delay the requirement that special education teams provide a child’s parent or guardian with copies of all written materials to be considered by the student’s IEP team three school days prior to the IEP meeting. Special education teams should be aware of what changes are required now and in the future based on these recent changes.  

As we previously reported, Illinois House Bill 3586, which was signed into law as Public Act 101-0515 at the end of the summer, added several significant procedural requirements to the School Code’s special education provisions. Because the amendment went into effect immediately,  school districts had to scramble to determine exactly what the law required and to implement internal procedures to meet those requirements. Many districts and their representatives expressed frustration and pushed for changes.

Those efforts proved successful with at least one requirement of HB 3586 this week. SB 460 postponed until July 1, 2020 the requirement that IEP teams provide parents/guardians draft documentation 3 school days prior to IEP meetings. SB 460 did not alter the other provisions of the School Code as amended by HB 3586.

The Illinois Alliance of Administrators of Special Education (IAASE) has stated it will continue working with stakeholders on revisions to the other parts of the law. For now, although IEP teams are not required to provide draft documents to parents three school days prior to an IEP meeting (until July 1, 2020), they must still comply with the following requirements  of HB 3586:

  • Make related service logs available to parents/guardians at IEP meetings and upon request.
  • Notify parents/guardians within 20 days of the beginning of the school year or upon the establishment of an IEP of the ability to request related service logs.
  • If a student’s IEP services are not implemented within 10 school days after the date or frequency provided for in the IEP, notify the parents/guardians in writing within 3 school days. The notice must inform parents/guardians of the right to request compensatory services.
  • Use response to scientific, research-based interventions or multi-tiered systems of support as part of the special education evaluation process to determine if a student is eligible for services due to a specific learning disability.
  • Involve parents/guardians in the RTI or MTSS data sharing and decision-making process.

We will monitor any additional changes to this law. Reach out to IAASE, ED-RED, LUDA, or directly to your State representative with your feedback on these procedural requirements.