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Public Act 103-0549, which took effect August 11, 2023, amends Section 24-14 of the School Code regarding the timing for teacher resignations. The School Code previously contained two separate rules. One, all teachers were prohibited from resigning during the school term (i.e., when school was in session) if they were leaving to accept another teaching position elsewhere. The second rule was layered over the first but applied to tenured teachers only; they were permitted to resign only if either their school board “concurred” with their resignation or if they provided at least 30 days’ written notice of their resignation. The second rule primarily aimed to prevent tenured teachers from resigning just before the upcoming school year, leaving their original school district in a lurch as they scrambled to hire a replacement in early August. If teachers resigned in violation of these two rules, they could be referred to the State Superintendent to have their license suspended for up to a year.

Perhaps in response to an increasing flurry of late-summer resignations from tenured and non-tenured teachers alike, the Illinois General Assembly passed P.A. 103-0549 (SB 1352). Under the amendment, teachers still cannot resign during the school term to accept another full-time teaching assignment (defined as any position requiring licensure, not just literal classroom teaching positions), but the 30-day notice requirement that used to apply only to tenured teachers now applies to all teachers. Specifically, a teacher who resigns outside the school term must submit a written resignation, to the school board secretary, at least 30 calendar days before the first student attendance day of the upcoming school term. Otherwise, unless the teacher’s school board concurs with the resignation, the teacher can be referred to the State Superintendent to have their license suspended.

If the school board chooses to refer the teacher for license-suspension proceedings (and submits five specific pieces of evidence), it now has to do so within 10 business days after refusing the resignation, and it then has five additional business days to notify the teacher of the referral. The State Superintendent (or designee) then has 90 days to convene an informal hearing, and 14 days thereafter to issue a written determination.

For questions about the impact of this amendment on your hiring and resignation practices—particularly here in August—contact Ellen Rothenberg, Chris Hoffmann, or any other attorney in our Labor/Personnel practice group.

Source: P.A. 103-0549