Legal Council Blog

Views expressed in this blog belong to the respective author unless otherwise specified.

Beyond Shame & Stigma

February 20, 2018

Our sold out panel discussion “HIV Criminalization: Beyond Shame & Stigma,” co-sponsored with our friends at TPAN, was a great success this past Thursday, Feb 15. The expert panel included Maurice Chapman formerly of South Suburban HIV/AIDS Regional Clinics, Dr. Trevor Hoppe of SUNY-Albany and author of Punishing Disease, Vera Lamarr of Sex Workers Outreach Project, and Scott Schoettes…

Read More

CPS Special Ed under investigation

February 13, 2018

The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) has begun a “Public Inquiry” into CPS’s handling of special education concerns in response to a coordinated effort by Legal Council for Health Justice and other educational advocacy organizations and groups representing parents, teachers and principals.  As part of its investigation, ISBE will conduct public hearings where parents and…

Read More

Client focus: Kenneth

February 1, 2018

Coming from a chaotic and abusive household–where his mother would abuse him both physically and mentally–Kenneth had few resources. Though he suffered from depression that dated back to his childhood, Kenneth was still able to get his Licensed Practical Nursing (LPN) degree and worked as a nurse for five years at a hospital in Virginia.…

Read More

ISBE can you hear me?

November 17, 2017

Advocates held a press conference at Chicago’s Thompson Center this morning. Thirteen legal and education groups including Legal Council for Health Justice sent an open letter to the Illinois State Board of Education today, requesting an independent investigation of the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) Special Education program in light of investigative journalism from WBEZ revealing undisclosed…

Read More

New Ways to Combat Lead-Poisoning

November 10, 2017

In 2015, 10,322 kids in Illinois had elevated lead levels in their blood–and that’s only the kids tested. Many children don’t have access or aren’t eligible for the services necessary to help children after lead exposure. Those services are called Early Intervention. According to Dr. Nicole Hamp of the University of Chicago Comer Children’s Hospital:…

Read More

Graham-Cassidy

October 31, 2017

Excerpted from our comments submitted by policy director Carrie Chapman to the Senate Finance Committee Hearing on Graham-Cassidy Bill: If this proposal succeeds, the devastating financial impact on Illinois is clear (Avalere Health, September 20, 2017). By shifting Medicaid expansion funds and the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) financial assistance into the “Market Based Health Care Block…

Read More

Thank your local congressperson

October 18, 2017

Nine hardworking Congresspeople sent a letter demanding answers to charges of discrimination against people living with HIV and AIDS by insurance plans. The letter was signed by Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Rep. Robin Kelly (D-IL), Rep. Bill Foster (D-IL), Rep. Danny K. Davis (D-IL), Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL), Rep. Bobby L. Rush (D-IL), Rep. Dan Lipinski…

Read More

Special education expose

October 17, 2017

First in a series of investigative reporting from WBEZ reveals the Chicago Public Schools overhauled special education and relied on a “secret” set of guidelines “that resulted in limiting services for special education students, services like busing, one-on-one aides, and summer school.” Our child health policy leader Amy Zimmerman is quoted extensively. Some excerpts below.…

Read More

Stay-put protections

August 22, 2017

Governor Rauner signs a bill drafted by Legal Council for Health Justice which clarifies and strengthens the ability of parents and guardians to pursue mediation where there are disagreements with the school about their child’s special education services. In addition to clarifying the process for children to continue to receive special education services during the entire mediation process (called “stay-put protections”), the bill also requires updating of the Notice of Procedural Safeguards for special education that parents must receive. This notice had not been updated since 2009!

Read More