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Title:An Analysis of State Legal Assistance Services to Illinois Schools
Author(s):Trumble, Lyle Deane
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Administration
Abstract:The purpose of this study was to identify the state resources needed to provide legal assistance to local school officials, based on current levels of demand and the statutory language authorizing the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) and the Educational Service Regions (ESRs) to provide this kind of assistance.
Methodology. Relevant statutes and court cases were analyzed and a loosely-coupled systems theory was utilized. The 395 legal opinions written by the ISBE Legal Department were analyzed to determine the kind of questions the legal department is asked to address, the legal opinions rendered by the Legal Department, and the references cited in the opinions. All of the 57 Regional Superintendents and Assistant Regional Superintendents were surveyed. Selected local district superintendents, regional superintendents, and state Legal Department attorneys were interviewed to corroborate the findings of the opinion analysis and ESR survey.
Selected Results and Recommendations. Both the ISBE Legal Department and ESRs provide information and advice to local school officials, teachers, parents, private citizens, and other agencies. Legal Department attorneys and ESRs both use similar references, including Illinois Revised Statutes, state rules and regulations, court decisions, and a "legal file" of past opinions and articles. ESRs utilize, in addition, a network of resource people for legal assistance.
The state responsibility to provide and the current demand for legal assistance, the nature of the loosely-coupled Illinois educational system and specifically the selective attention of local school officials indicate a continuing demand for authoritative advice and for innovative and practical advice.
The effectiveness of the state legal advisory services appears to be hampered by the growth of other Legal Department activities and efforts to respond to inquiries from non-school personnel.
Concentration of state resources in the formal network--utilizing ESRs to channel and filter inquiries--may improve the timeliness and reduce the potential conflicts arising from the current delivery of services.
The ESRs may improve their services by expanding and strengthening their resource networks and legal files.
Issue Date:1985
Description:177 p.
Thesis (Educat.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1985.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8600334
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-15
Date Deposited:1985

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