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The Legal Department ​encompasses review of licensure applications with impediments, investigations into misconduct by licensed educators, actions to suspend or revoke licenses, and tenured teacher dismissals.​

 Faith's Law- Employment History Review

Faith’s Law (PA 102-676) amended multiple state statutes to close legal loopholes related to combatting grooming. It added Section 5/22-85.5 of the School Code which defines sexual misconduct and requires districts to incorporate the definition into the employee code of conduct policy. The Faith’s Law trailer bill (PA 102-702, effective July 1, 2023) further combats grooming by adding new Section 5/22-94 to the School Code which requires applicants seeking employment at a school in a position that requires direct involvement with children or students to authorize an employment history review as part of the application process.

The applicant must swear or affirm that they are not disqualified from employment and complete a form that includes contact information for current or former employers that were schools or school contractors where the applicant had direct contact with children. The applicant must also provide a written statement of whether the applicant has been the subject of a sexual misconduct allegation, been discharged, been asked to resign, or was disciplined due to an adjudication or finding of sexual misconduct. The district in receipt of the application shall initiate a review of the employment history by contacting the employer listed and request pertinent information from the current/former employer as required by the statute.

Under Section 5/22-94, ISBE is required to create the templates for the forms used by districts to complete the employment history review. The two templates herein were created by ISBE with input from IASB, IASA, IASPA and other stakeholders to fulfil ISBE’s obligation to provide the employment history review templates. The employment history review requirements take effect on July 1, 2023.

Districts may modify the templates and adopt them as their own official forms, however the content in the ISBE templates should be closely adhered to as the information they seek to elicit is required by the statute. Below are the two templates ISBE created with input from IASB, IASA, IASPA and other stakeholders to fulfil ISBE’s obligation under the statute which will be in effect on July 1, 2023.

 Licensure Applications with​​ Impediments

Each applicant for a license, endorsement or approval must disclose certain personal history when applying for licensure, renewing a license, or registering a license; including, but not limited to, certain criminal history or DCFS indications for child abuse or neglect. Such disclosures are called “impediments”. Applications with impediments are reviewed pursuant to 105 ILCS 5/21B-15 and 23 Ill.Admin.Code 25.480 through 25.491PDF Document, by an investigator in the ISBE Legal Department, who advises the Educator Effectiveness Department whether to issue or deny a license, endorsement or approval. ​

Depending on the type of impediment, the investigator will request supplemental documentation, such as certified conviction records. An applicant has the opportunity to submit evidence in mitigation of an impediment, such as personal statements and character references. If a recommendation is made to deny the application, the applicant has the opportunity to request a credibility hearing before a committee comprised of Educator Effectiveness Department staff and present evidence and/or character witnesses on his/her behalf. At this meeting, Educator Effectiveness Department​​ staff may ask questions related to the application, and the proceedings are recorded by a court reporter. Educator Effectiveness Department staff will then make a final administrative decision either to issue the license, endorsement, or approval or deny the application. This decision is reviewable pursuant to the Administrative Review Law, 735 ILCS 5, Article III.​

 Licensure Sanctions

A licensee may be sanctioned for committing serious acts of misconduct, resulting in suspension or revocation of a license and/or required completion of professional development, pursuant to 105 ILCS 5/21B-75 and 21B-80, and Part 475 rulesPDF Document (23 Ill.Admin.Code 475). Licenses can be suspended for up to five years, or permanently revoked, and professional development can be imposed on its own or in conjunction with any term of suspension. Investigators in the Legal Department will subpoena personnel records, obtain criminal or DCFS records, and conduct interviews before making a recommendation to the State Superintendent to initiate an action for sanctions. Licensees are entitled to request and receive a full evidentiary hearing before a hearing officer appointed by the State Educator Preparation and Licensure Board (SEPLB) prior to sanctions being imposed.​​

The hearing officer makes a recommendation to the full SEPLB, which makes a final administrative decision on sanctions. If a licensee does not request a hearing, the State Superintendent imposes the sanction recommended. Alternatively, a licensee may voluntarily surrender his or her license, resulting in its revocation. Licensees may also propose settlement to resolve the matter without the cost and uncertainty of litigation. Information about the SEPLB can be found on its website on the State Educator Preparation and Licensure Board (SEPLB) page. A licensee convicted of an offense listed in 105 ILCS 5/21B-80 is automatically disqualified from holding a license and is not entitled to additional due process (notice and an opportunity to be heard) before his or her license is revoked.​​​​

 Application of Section 24-14 of the Illinois School Code to Teacher Resignations

The Illinois State Board of Education has prepared guidance on the applicability and effect of Section 24-14 of the School Code (105 ILCS 5/24-14) regarding teacher resignations. The intent of the guidance is to ensure that district and regional administrators understand the provisions of law and the scenarios in which a teacher’s license may be suspended for resigning from a teaching assignment in contravention of law.​

 Tenured Teacher Dismissals

​​​A tenured teacher can be dismissed for cause from employment in an action initiated by the school district employer. These dismissal actions are governed by 105 ILCS 5/24-12(d) and Part 51 rulesPDF Document (23 Ill.Admin.Code 51). Dismissal actions are heard by an impartial hearing officer, who makes a recommendation to the local school board, and the local school board makes the final decision on dismissal. ISBE’s role in tenured teacher dismissals is limited to maintaining a corps of qualified hearing officers. Hearing officer dismissal recommendations can be found at​​.


​​​A complaint about an educator’s misconduct may be filed by submitting a completed Educator Misconduct Complaint Form to Please include as much detail as possible and attach supporting documentation, if applicable.​​​​​​​

Educator Misconduct Complaint FormPDF Document (20-01)​​​​

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