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ISBE Postpones Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation Data Reporting Requirements

Education K-12 Education

The Illinois State Board of Education (“ISBE”) has announced that it is postponing its implementation of Public Act 102-0543, which requires ISBE to collect and report student sexual orientation, gender, and sex data. As a result, ISBE will no longer ask districts to collect this information for the 2022-2023 school year.

ISBE previously released guidance in January, which provided school districts with information on how they can collect certain information from students regarding sexual orientation, sex, and gender in accordance with the new law. ISBE has since released a memorandum stating that it will now not ask districts to collect data on sexual orientation and sex for the 2022-2023 school year, citing concerns raised by school districts about student privacy under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act and the Illinois School Student Records Act.  ISBE has informed the General Assembly that it is unable to begin reporting the data required by P.A. 102-0543, and will delay implementation to ensure it does not potentially cause undue harm to any student.

In the meantime, ISBE has indicated it will be forming a working group of educators, LGBTQ+ advocates, families, and students from across the state to advise on data collection and to ensure the data are collected with all students’ safety and privacy in mind. ISBE will conclude this working group by October 2022 “in order to provide the field with revised guidance or to propose legislation to amend the requirement before school registration begins for the 2023-24 school year.”

If you have questions regarding the postponement of the data collection requirement, please reach out to any Franczek attorney.