School districts will be required to implement yet another unfunded mandate at the start of the second semester of the current school year.  Governor Bruce Rauner recently signed the Learn with Dignity Act to ensure that students have access to quality feminine hygiene products at no cost while they attend school.  As stated in the statutory findings, the purpose of the statute is to address the ongoing need for affordable feminine hygiene products in the state and to ensure that students are not absent from school when they do not have access to such products.

The obligation to provide these products in school building restrooms covers grades 6 through 12 in all school districts across the state, including charter schools.  Nevertheless, depending on how grades are organized within school buildings, the cost to schools could be greater than the General Assembly anticipated.  For example, grades 5 and 6 may be combined in the same building, and a school district would be hard-pressed to provide the benefit to one yet not the other grade.  This statute becomes effective on January 1, 2018.

For questions regarding this statute or the latest in education news, you may contact Stephanie Donovan at  Tressler’s Education Practice is focused on providing timely and personalized support for all school districts in Illinois.