Reminder: Changes to Student Residency Law Take Effect January 1, 2017

As we head into the Thanksgiving weekend, it is a good time to look ahead to the changes in the Illinois Student Residency Law that take effect on January 1, 2017. While the ways to establish residency and a number of other provisions in the Law will remain the same, there are a number of changes as well.

If a school district believes that a student in attendance is actually not a resident, the school district will be required to include in a written notice to the student’s parent or guardian the specific reasons why it believes the student is not a resident.

The law will specify that its relevant deadlines are based on a “calendar” day schedule, and are not limited to only days when school is in session.

  • If a hearing takes place related to a student’s residency, the school district will be required to disclose all of its evidence and a list of witnesses three calendar days before the hearing. The student must also disclose the same information to the school district. If either side fails to make the required disclosures, the undisclosed information will be barred from use at the hearing.
  • The school district will be required to make a decision within 30 calendar days of the residency hearing.
  • Within five calendar days of reaching a decision, the school board will be required to send a written decision to the student’s parent or guardian by certified mail.
  • Significantly, school district decisions on residency are currently final decisions, but as of January 1, parents or guardians will have a chance to appeal. Within five calendar days after receiving the school district’s decision, a parent or guardian may petition the regional superintendent of schools to review the decision. The school district must inform the parent or guardian of the right to an appeal in its written decision.
  • The student may continue attending his or her current school pending the regional superintendent’s review. However, if the family loses its appeal, it may be charged tuition for the time the student attended school while awaiting the appeal decision.
  • Within five calendar days of receiving a parent or guardian’s petition for appeal, the school district must disclose all evidence, testimony and a witness list to the regional superintendent. The school district may also issue a written response to the petition.
  • Within 10 calendar days of receiving the evidence and other information from the school district, the regional superintendent will issue a written decision as to whether there is “clear and convincing evidence” that the student is a resident.

Please contact your attorney with any questions about how the amendments to the Illinois Student Residency Law apply to your school district or unit of local government.

Should you have any questions, please contact Luke Glisan, Michael Zimmermann, John O'Driscoll, Kevin Kearney or any other member of our firm’s Government Law Group.

Luke Glisan, Senior Counsel in the Chicago Office | 312.627.4097, lglisan@tresslerllp.com

Michael F. Zimmermann, Partner in the Chicago Office | 312.627.4020, mzimmermann@tresslerllp.com

John O’Driscoll, Partner in the Bolingbrook Office | 630.343.5209, jodriscoll@tresslerllp.com 

Kevin Kearney, Associate in the Chicago Office | 312.627.4011, kkearney@tresslerllp.com

This special alert is for general information only and is not intended to provide and should not be relied upon for legal advice in any particular circumstance or fact situation. The reader is advised to consult with an attorney to address any particular circumstance or fact situation. The opinions expressed in this special alert are those of the authors and not necessarily those of Tressler LLP or its clients. This announcement or some of its content may be considered advertising under the applicable rules of the Supreme Court of Illinois, the courts in New York and those in certain other states. For purposes of compliance with New York State Bar rules, our headquarters are Tressler LLP, 233 S Wacker Drive, 22nd Floor, Chicago, IL 60606, 312.627.4000. Prior results described herein do not guarantee a similar outcome. The information contained in this special alert may or may not reflect the most current legal developments. The articles are not updated subsequent to their inclusion in the special alert when published. Tressler LLP | Copyright 2016