On September 22, 2017, the Governor signed SB 1483 (Public Act 100-0532), which amended the Illinois School Student Records Act (“ISSRA”) (105 ILCS 10/1 et seq.). These changes are effective immediately.
The amendment reduces the number of days a school district has to respond to a student records request to inspect or copy all or part of a student’s school record. Instead of 15 school days, school districts now have only 10 business days after receipt of the request by the school district’s official records custodian to respond to the records request.
The time to respond may be extended by not more than 5 business days for any of the following reasons:
- The requested records are stored in whole or in part at other locations than the office having charge of the requested records;
- The request requires collection of a substantial number of specified records;
- The request is couched in categorical terms and requires an extensive search for records responsive to it;
- The requested records have not been located in the course of routine search and additional efforts are being made to locate them;
- The request cannot be complied with by the district within the time limits without unduly burdening or interfering with the operation of the district; or
- There is a need for consultation, which shall be conducted with all practicable speed, with another public body or school district, or among two or more components of a public body or school district, having a substantial interest in the determination or in the subject matter of the request.
In addition, pursuant to the recent amendment, the person making the student records request and the school district may agree in writing to extend the time for compliance for a period to be determined by the parties. If the requester and the school district agree to extend the period for the school district to respond to the student records request, failure by the school district to comply with any previous deadlines shall not be treated as a denial of the request for the records.