Law 

The Law department provides a full array of legal services to the Chicago Board of Education and the various departments and divisions of the Chicago Public Schools. Board attorneys represent and counsel clients on general litigation, labor and employment matters, school law, school finance, student discipline, commercial transactions, and workers’ compensation.

In addition, attorneys represent the Board on transactional matters including contracts, real estate, municipal finance, and other legal issues that arise in the course of the day-to-day operations of the Chicago Public Schools. They also assist in developing and drafting Board policies and rules and are particularly instrumental in developing and implementing rules and procedures for the election and operations of Local School Councils (LSC).

The Law department is organized into eight practice areas and performs administrative and investigative functions:

The Appeals Unit represents the Board and its employees before the Illinois Appellate and Supreme Courts, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court. Most of the cases involve employees charging the Board with wrongful discharge, discipline or discrimination.
The Commercial, Torts and Workers' Compensation Unit provides general litigation and counseling services to the Board and its management on a diverse range of issues, including breach of contract, debarments, property taxation litigation, construction litigation, municipal code violations, personal injury and work place injuries.
The Employment and Civil Rights Unit represents the Board and its agents in all litigation matters filed in federal and state court involving allegations of discrimination or a violation of the United States Constitution or a federal statute. This Unit also represents the Board when an administrative charge is filed with agencies such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Illinois Human Rights Commission.
The Investigations Unit has the responsibility to investigate a multitude of allegations of employee misconduct including, but not limited to: allegations of physical and sexual abuse of students, negligent supervision of students, ethics violations, falsification of attendance records and documents, local school council related complaints and challenges, allegations of test cheating and fraudulent enrollment.
The Labor and Employee Discipline Unit is responsible for handling traditional labor law matters involving unfair labor practice charges and arbitration demands filed by labor organizations. Additionally, the Unit is charged with prosecuting employee discipline matters before administrative agencies and the Illinois State Board of Education. The Unit also counsels principals and administrators on a daily basis on labor and employment law matters.
The Records Management Unit helps ensure system-wide compliance with local, state, and federal regulations and Board policies related to student and district business-related records, including the maintenance, retention, and proper disposal of records.
The School Law Unit counsels District staff on state and federal law and Board policies and rules. The Unit primarily advises on student privacy, student discipline, student enrollment and transfers, local school council issues, legislative review, charter school matters, and educational initiatives.
The Transactions Unit drafts and negotiates a broad range of contracts including professional services, technology, equipment leases, educational services, supply contracts, and real estate transactions including land acquisition, leases and licenses. The Unit also provides legal review and counsel in bond issuances and other financings and advises departments and schools regarding compliance with Board rules, policies and procurement laws.

Resources

Student Record Retention and Disposal
Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)

Contact Information

Law Department
1 North Dearborn Street
Suite 900
Chicago, Illinois 60602
773-553-1700 | Main
773-553-1701 | Fax

Page Last Modified on Wednesday, June 10, 2015