SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
CapitolFax.com
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Another angle on the IHSA lawsuit

Monday, Jul 28, 2014

* Phil Kadner writes about a little-known angle of the Better Government Association’s suit against the not-for-profit Illinois High School Association

(T)he IHSA generates money for its schools, and the school boards, athletic directors and coaches are prepared to protect it from public scrutiny.

That’s how Consolidated High School District 230, based in Orland Park, got dragged as a defendant into the BGA lawsuit.

There’s a law that states a public agency that does business with another agency, even if it is private, must turn over any documents in its possession about that private business.

Andrew High School in Tinley Park is in District 230, and its principal, Andrew Nolting, is an IHSA board member.

So the BGA filed a freedom of information request with District 230, asking for the IHSA documents that it couldn’t get from the IHSA. District 230 denied the request, claiming that the documents sought “do not pertain to the transaction of the district’s public business.”

Let’s forget the legal mumbo jumbo for a minute and the responsibility of public bodies to be transparent.

Why would organizations that use schoolchildren to make money refuse to provide information about how they spend that money?

There would be no need for a lawsuit if people of good will simply did what was in the public’s interest.

I can see how the IHSA can say it’s protected from FOIA, but a high school district?

- Posted by Rich Miller        


29 Comments
  1. - AlabamaShake - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 3:50 pm:

    Let me first say that I fully support forcing IHSA to abide by state FOIA laws.

    But this argument is just silly:

    **Why would organizations that use schoolchildren to make money refuse to provide information about how they spend that money?**

    That just doesn’t make sense. Any organization that “use[s] schoolchildren”, regardless of where there funding comes from, should be FOIAable? Come on.


  2. - CircularFiringSquad - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 3:50 pm:

    so if a newspaper run a legal notice and gets paid tax dollars and the run some sparkling item from Handyout Andy’s group does that mean the paper and Handout can start responding FOIA too?
    Seems about as logical


  3. - DuPage - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 4:02 pm:

    Board members of an outside organization usually have some sort of agreement to not disclose confidential information of the organization. Just exactly what the school district has and why it would be confidential is a good question. It might involve school employees and be considered as personnel records which are exempt.


  4. - walker - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 4:04 pm:

    Are the companies that provide caps and gowns for graduations FOIAble too? Not likely.

    A better argument is that the IGHA operates de facto as a public education organization regardless of what it calls itself.


  5. - Chris - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 4:05 pm:

    “so if a newspaper run a legal notice and gets paid tax dollars and the run some sparkling item from Handyout Andy’s group does that mean the paper and Handout can start responding FOIA too?”

    Is the newspaper earning 100% of it’s income from those kids? Are they (supposedly) spending that money on goods and services to benefit those kids?

    No? Well, then it’s not a good analogy.


  6. - Demoralized - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 4:06 pm:

    The IHSA is a private organization. I absolutely am against this logic that a private organization that does business with a public entity must be subject to FOIA. Who would want to do business with a public entity if they are forced to be subject to FOIA? This whole episode is nothing but nonsense.


  7. - Bogey Golfer - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 4:14 pm:

    The BGA is totally overstepping its self-appointed authority. Completely agree with Demoralized (at least on this one).


  8. - Rich Miller - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 4:17 pm:

    === a private organization that does business with a public entity must be subject to FOIA===

    IHSA goes way beyond that and you most certainly know it. This isn’t some little vendor. It dictates activities of just about every public school athlete and their schools in this state.


  9. - Anonymous - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 4:28 pm:

    Kadner misstates the law, which provides: “A public record that is not in the possession of a public body but is in the possession of a party with whom the agency has contracted to perform a governmental function on behalf of the public body, and that directly relates to the governmental function and is not otherwise exempt under this Act, shall be considered a public record of the public body, for purposes of this Act.” (5 ILCS 140/7(2)) This is intended to cover the situation where a public body ‘outsources’ something - it can’t then claim that the documents are not FOIA-able just because they’re in someone else’s hands.


  10. - Arthur Andersen - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 4:31 pm:

    Rich, make that “public and private school athlete.”

    IMHO, the issue driving at least part of this is the so-called “Success Rule” enacted by IHSA last year that moves non-boundaried private schools (most of them) up a class above their actual enrollment for IHSA competition purposes.


  11. - Downstate - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 4:35 pm:

    If the IHSA is a non-profit, then their books are required by law to be open to public inspection.

    Just looked at the IHSA by-laws, online. While they require an annual audit, it doesn’t appear that the member schools can demand access to that audit. It’s frankly rather vague on who gets to see the audit - only the Chairman of the board, Chairman of the Legislative committee and one high school principal make up the audit committee.

    For all the detail in their by-laws, the stuff on audit and financial accountability are none too precise.


  12. - Bogey Golfer - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 4:37 pm:

    At least three of the 11 current Board Members are from private schools - Not sure if Urbana (University) is private or public.


  13. - Demoralized - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 4:41 pm:

    ==IHSA goes way beyond that and you most certainly know it.==

    No, Rich, I don’t know it. If it’s a public organization then the law should make that clear. I don’t buy into this “special” crap. It’s either public or it’s not. The law needs to make that more clear.


  14. - Demoralized - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 4:43 pm:

    Besides, Rich, where do you draw the line between what is “special” and what isn’t. I think Steve Schnorf asked that question yesterday and I didn’t see any answer to that question.


  15. - Anonymous - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 4:53 pm:

    Downstate - what’s the citation for the legal requirement that the books of a non-profit are open for public inspection? I don’t think so. There’s a Form 990 tax return that must be publicly available, for certain tax-exempt NFPs but that’s a lot less than ‘the books.’


  16. - Jimmy 87 - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 5:10 pm:

    If the General Assembly is looking for a place to begin drawing the line on which so-called “private” organizations ought to be subject to FOIA, they should look at the IHSA and also the Illinois Municipal League.

    As Rich points out, the IHSA, even by their own admission is currently functioning as a “state actor.” They essentially dictate the rules and eligibility requirements for public high school athletes in Illinois.

    The IML, unlike the IHSA (they have some private members), is comprised totally of public bodies. Yet the IML does something other local government groups don’t do - they collect a tax. The Illinois Foreign Fire Insurance Tax is a two-percent charge paid by consumers who purchase fire insurance from companies based outside of Illinois and it’s collected by the IML. If you’re a group comprised totally of public bodies and your collecting a tax for the state of Illinois, there ought to be some transparency.


  17. - RonOglesby - Now in TX - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 5:18 pm:

    I guess it depends on WHAT documents are being asked for. The lines above say they are looking for IHSA documents they could not get from the IHSA…

    Well if the IHSA gives/sends those documents to schools. And it is full of requirements, costs (things the school must pay), and what not… Aren’t you really FOIA’ing the documents that the SCHOOL now has as a course of the SCHOOL business.

    I mean if a private company sells… Toilet seats or benches or books to a school. I may not be able to FOIA that private company. BUT I sure as hell can FOIA the school to know the cost of the books, instruction materials or directions that came with the books. Costs of the toilet seats or directions/requirements for the seats SENT TO THE SCHOOL, maintenance manuals or procedures designed by the school to conform to requirements sent from the manufacturer…

    does that sound all that crazy? A high school (or any school) has a contract with the IHSA or requirements, notes, handbooks, that the SCHOOL AND STUDENTS must follow… why cant they be FOIA’d?

    I think there are things that dont belong out in public but there is also a bunch of sweet deals being protected when there are this many fights about not showing documents and contracts to the public.


  18. - JS Mill - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 5:20 pm:

    As to Kadner’s statemen:

    “Or to be more precise, the IHSA generates money for its schools, and the school boards, athletic directors and coaches are prepared to protect it from public scrutiny.”

    I think he is wrong about school boards but may be correct about some others involved in schools particularly those who serve on the IHSA Board, Principals, and athletic directors. Usually it is not about money. The IHSA generally does not generate money for schools. I am not sure what he is basing that on. The gate revenue from state series games that schools host is minimal at best. School Boards may take direction from their leadership as in the case of Dist 230, but they generally have little or no interaction with the IHSA.


  19. - Soccermom - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 5:43 pm:

    Let’s not forget that the Comptroller’s inspector general was simultaneously working as a defense attorney, during work hours.

    Let’s keep the Auditor General and just get rid of these other clowns. They cost taxpayers millions, and they seem to focus on ridiculously small stuff. i mean, read this and weep:
    http://www2.illinois.gov/oeig/Documents/10-00228_Stone_05.24.12.pdf


  20. - Coach - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 5:44 pm:

    But yet the General Assembly cannot find time to straightened out fiscal mess!


  21. - Norseman - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 5:48 pm:

    The article said the BGA was “asking for the IHSA documents that it couldn’t get from the IHSA.” The wording is a little unclear so I assume the records were relevant to the school district and in its possession.

    It’s been a bit since I read FOIA, but I don’t recall the district’s response that the records “do not pertain to the transaction of the district’s public business” falls under one of the acceptable exemptions.

    Records held by a public body are open unless they fall under an exemption under the law.


  22. - RNUG - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 6:41 pm:

    - Downstate - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 4:35 pm:

    Not true. Just because you are an NFP, it does not mean your records are public beyond what is required to be filed as an annual report by the incorporating State and what is required by the federal IRS (usually a 990 or a 990-N postcard for smaller organizatins). I file that paperwork for a small NFP; there is almost zero financial detail in what I file. About the only detailed information I file is list of the officers and board members.


  23. - DuPage - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 7:58 pm:

    @Soccermom5:43
    Not only was it a chicken s**t investigation, but they then put it online, violating the law that says personnel records are confidential.
    Meza should be fired and banned from any future state employment or contracts for doing that, it was a much more significant illegal act of wrongdoing then anything the employee did.


  24. - Capo - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 9:10 pm:

    Soccermom - read some of the Tollway IG summaries. A complete joke. I agree these clowns need to go. Seem to remember Rich writing about these goofs a few years ago and concluding the same.


  25. - Retired AD - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 9:24 pm:

    Downstate…the IHSA tax returns, independent audit and annual report are all posted online for any member of the public to see.


  26. - frustrated GOP - Tuesday, Jul 29, 14 @ 7:47 am:

    I’m still trying to understand how IHSA makes money for schools. Ha, they all pay dues and dictated to on post season play photos and access. Not sure how schools make money from IHSA.


  27. - Retired AD - Tuesday, Jul 29, 14 @ 8:46 am:

    Frustrated…schools pay no dues, fees or anything else to be a part of IHSA. When we host IHSA postseason events like Regionals or Sectionals at a school, we receive a host guarantee and then a share of the ticket sales. We also keep all concession money, 50/50 raffles, etc. Some sports are breakeven type affairs (IHSA reimburses if you lose money on an event), while sports like basketball and football can produce significant revenue for a school


  28. - JS Mill - Tuesday, Jul 29, 14 @ 9:21 am:

    Retired AD- please explain your definition of “significant” because in my experience the amount of money is not significant. Usually less than a net of $2000-$3000. In the scope of a $35,0000,000 school budget that is not much money.


  29. - lawsuit funding - Thursday, Jul 31, 14 @ 5:46 am:

    hi! , I adore the publishing therefore much! write about we stay in touch additional approximately your post about America online? We need a specialist during this property to resolve my own challenge. It’s possible that is definitely an individual! Looking forward to professional you actually.


TrackBack URI

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* Karen Lewis endorses Chuy Garcia for mayor
* Friday night TV ad rating
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Proft responds to HRO
* Quinn, Rauner head downstate
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - HRO responds to Proft
* Emptying out my in-box
* Vast Majority of Illinois Voters Support Renewable Energy, Energy Efficiency
* Inducement or just a party?
* Question of the day
* UPDATE: $580 MILLION EXELON RATE HIKE?? Do They Really Need a Bailout After Making Nearly $1 BILLION In The Last 90 Days?
* Very late Rauner oppo
* *** UPDATED x2 *** And speaking of abortion...
* GOP defends Rauner on "employer-provided birth control"
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Friday morning fundraising report
* It's not anything new, but that doesn't make it Kosher
* Polling averages, models, projections, etc.
* Today's number: $3.5 million
* Rauner makes "Top 10" robocall list
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Cable TV buy report and a spending update
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Yesterday's blog posts

Support CapitolFax.com
Visit our advertisers...

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............


Search This Blog...

Search the 98th General Assembly By Bill Number
(example: HB0001)

Search the 98th General Assembly By Keyword

          
        * Minuum iOS update picks up new languages, advanced settings (Giveaway)
        * A final word from Taylor Martin
        * Battleheart Legacy signals Mika Mobile’s return to Android
        * AT&T and Verizon Boost Monthly Wireless Data in Ongoing Competition
        * Smash Champs lets you become a legendary trainer
        * Poynt pad tries to be all-in-one payment system for business
        * Truedialer app helps you manage contacts and calls

        * Orange HTC RE Camera Reportedly Delayed
        * Roku Now Able To Play Content From Google Play
        * BBM Updated With Timed Messages And Message Retraction
        * Bad News for Amazon: Google Play Movies and TV Are Now on Roku
        * How to Tell if Your Smartphone Is Haunted (Comic)
        * Does Bitrate Really Make a Difference In My Music?
        * Amazon Joins Google and Facebook in Exposing Tech’s Gender Gap

        * White Sox opt to decline Paulino's '15 option
        * White Sox have flexibility to pursue multiple upgrades
        * White Sox offseason plan roundup: Third base
        * Minnie Miñoso belongs in the Hall of Fame
        * Development of young core in '15 can define Chicago's future
        * Abreu leads White Sox GIBBY hopefuls with five noms
        * Allen, Wills among new faces on Hall's Golden Era ballot


        Main Menu
        Home
        Illinois
        YouTube
        Pundit rankings
        Obama
        Subscriber Content
        Durbin
        Burris
        Blagojevich Trial
        Advertising
        Updated Posts
        Polls

        Archives
        October 2014
        September 2014
        August 2014
        July 2014
        June 2014
        May 2014
        April 2014
        March 2014
        February 2014
        January 2014
        December 2013
        November 2013
        October 2013
        September 2013
        August 2013
        July 2013
        June 2013
        May 2013
        April 2013
        March 2013
        February 2013
        January 2013
        December 2012
        November 2012
        October 2012
        September 2012
        August 2012
        July 2012
        June 2012
        May 2012
        April 2012
        March 2012
        February 2012
        January 2012
        December 2011
        November 2011
        October 2011
        September 2011
        August 2011
        July 2011
        June 2011
        May 2011
        April 2011
        March 2011
        February 2011
        January 2011
        December 2010
        November 2010
        October 2010
        September 2010
        August 2010
        July 2010
        June 2010
        May 2010
        April 2010
        March 2010
        February 2010
        January 2010
        December 2009
        November 2009
        October 2009
        September 2009
        August 2009
        July 2009
        June 2009
        May 2009
        April 2009
        March 2009
        February 2009
        January 2009
        December 2008
        November 2008
        October 2008
        September 2008
        August 2008
        July 2008
        June 2008
        May 2008
        April 2008
        March 2008
        February 2008
        January 2008
        December 2007
        November 2007
        October 2007
        September 2007
        August 2007
        July 2007
        June 2007
        May 2007
        April 2007
        March 2007
        February 2007
        January 2007
        December 2006
        November 2006
        October 2006
        September 2006
        August 2006
        July 2006
        June 2006
        May 2006
        April 2006
        March 2006
        February 2006
        January 2006
        December 2005
        April 2005
        March 2005
        February 2005
        January 2005
        December 2004
        November 2004
        October 2004

        Blog*Spot Archives
        November 2005
        October 2005
        September 2005
        August 2005
        July 2005
        June 2005
        May 2005

        Syndication

        RSS Feed 2.0
        Comments RSS 2.0
        WordPress

        Loading


        * Illinois Governor candidates Quinn, Rauner on t.....
        * Illinois Dems dig deep to keep governor's office..
        * State gives $2.5M grant for new Geneseo pool..
        * As punctuality plummets, Amtrak confronts freig.....
        * BC-IL--Illinois News Digest 6 pm, IL..
        * Judgment Day: Incumbents are in trouble..
        * How to Get a Government Job in Gov. Pat Quinn's.....


        * Union backs county commissioner for Chicago mayor
        * Lake Michigan waves slam Chicago lakeshore
        * Creator of Operation couldn't afford own operation
        * Judge won't close hearing in Islamic State case
        * Lake Michigan waves slam Chicago lakeshore
        * Wallenda ready for windy Chicago tightrope walks
        * Woman charged with defrauding Illinois couple
        * Quinn, Rauner talk jobs, early voting Friday
        * Judge won't close hearing in Islamic State case
        * Cook County Jail guard faces theft charge

        * Former Gov. Edgar to campaign with Rauner
        * Attorney general seeks clarifications from Topinka’s former nonprofit
        * Inmate freed from Jacksonville prison in landmark Illinois case
        * Cross opposes income tax hike extension
        * Gay marriage, abortion issues take back seat in governor’s race
        * Madigan’s office seeks clarifications from former Topinka nonprofit
        * Cross says no to income tax hike extension, sales tax on services
        * Gay marriage, abortion issues take backseat in governor’s race
        * Illinois inmate freed in landmark capital punishment case
        * Rauner says women will decide governor's race

        * SEC examines Caterpillar's accounting for Bucyrus
        * Cubs hire Maddon as manager, fire Renteria
        * A stormy Lake Michigan swamps Lake Shore Drive – and sinks Chicago's mood
        * A stormy Lake Michigan swamps Lake Shore Drive — and sinks Chicago's mood
        * Chicago Marathon champion fails doping test, agent says


        * Garcia: I'm a serious mayoral candidate, not just a protest vote
        * A higher standard of criminal justice
        * Ex-Northwestern doctor to pay $475K to settle fraud claims
        * Sad day  when  Catholic  schools  close
        * Chicago bead merchant Ronnie Klein, whose Loop business drew stars, dead at 65
        * Chicago bead merchant Ronnie Klein, whose Loop business drew stars, dead at 65
        * Durbin, Oberweis square off for final time
        * State’s attorney investigating alderman’s prize offer to voters
        * Face it: Animator has found a great way to pass time on his commute
        * Refund those unfair yellow-light tickets


        * Federal judge refuses government request to close terrorism hearing
        * Emanuel's top attorney: Watchdog had no right to sue
        * Cops release photos in robbery and attack of police sergeant
        * Cops warn of armed robberies at South Side businesses
        * Mom, 3 kids killed in crash heading to Halloween parade
        * Doctor in indecency case can open door to trick-or-treaters
        * Widow of officer killed in crash speaks out for first time
        * Snow showers, temperatures in 30s for Halloween night
        * Lake County charges 21 under RICO statute
        * Rough waves on lake closes floating haunted house at Navy Pier


        * Scary Story: St. Michael And Mr. Pyles By H.W. Devlin
        * Dodging DUIs: Secretary of State Candidates Faceoff
        * Cook County posting indigent burials in 'virtual cemetery'
        * Whom do you trust when it comes to nutrition advice?
        * Zombie barge sinking in storm at Navy Pier
        * The digital afterlife
        * Making Buildings Healthier From The Inside Out
        * Scary Story: Planes By Ted Morrissey
        * Listen to State Week - October 31, 2014
        * "Monster Mash" Celebrates Halloween With Classical Music


        * Former Gov. Edgar to campaign with Rauner
        * Esther Cepeda: Elizabeth Pena: Trailblazer on the big screen
        * Andy Shaw: Voter turnout instrumental to reform
        * Ty Fahner: What if the Court rejects pension reform?
        * Attorney general seeks clarifications from Topinka’s former nonprofit
        * Quote of the Day: Friday, Oct. 31
        * Inmate freed from Jacksonville prison in landmark Illinois case
        * Cross opposes income tax hike extension
        * Gay marriage, abortion issues take back seat in governor’s race
        * Illinois inmate freed in landmark capital punishment case


        * High school football playoff scoreboard, Oct. 31-Nov. 1, 2014
        * Unchained
        * No permanent damage from sprinklers at Bottenfield
        * Two sentenced for role in home invasion
        * Cedarhurst Center for the Arts features comic strip art
        * Clinton firefighters put new fire boat through its paces
        * Politics Notebook: Quinn makes stop at SIUE
        * Quinn makes stop at SIUE
        * School: DCFS also investigating East St. Louis teacher allegation
        * UI ag complex gets boost from state funding


        * Group makes last push for Butterfield tax request
        * Democrats dig deep to keep governor's office
        * Edgar to campaign with Rauner
        * Waves slam Chicago lakeshore
        * White Pines Golf Dome to reopen under new ownership

        * Patrick Cannon defense strategy rare but n...
        * Feds fine Jesse Jackson Jr.'s campaign com...
        * Ex-Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. faces sen...
        * Representative Jan Schakowsky Sends Letter...
        * Rep. candidate pushes to uphold marriage b...
        * Reps. Schakowsky and Waxman Introduce Bill...
        * Statement by Representative Jan Schakowsky...
        * U.S. House Passes Resolution Condemning An...
        * FAA Rejects Call For New O'Hare Noise Stud...
        * Representatives Quigley, Duckworth, Schako...

        * Jeanne Shaheen says Scott Brown voted to r......
        * Jeanne Shaheen says Scott Brown voted to r......
        * Jeanne Shaheen says Scott Brown voted to r......
        * Jeanne Shaheen says Scott Brown voted to r......
        * Jeanne Shaheen says Scott Brown voted to r......

        * Sen. Mark Kirk questioned by Triton students...
        * If Republicans Take Senate, Why It Won’t Last...

        * Rahm and Sun-Times editor Jim Kirk.
        * Mark Anderson: Chicago progressives have an embarrassment of riches.
        * You think the Hinsdale board was crappy to teachers? Look at what they are doing to plow over the support staff.
        * The Chicago Transit Authority and Rahm’s water carriers at the Sun-Times.
        * The court issues an injunction against the Philadelphia Schools Commission.
        * Garcia Says Chicago Mayoral Run 'Is Not A Protest Candidacy'
        * I’m with Ben. No circular firing squads. Focus on Rahm. Not on each other.
        * Agreement in Waukegan. A three-year deal. Update: Teachers ratify.
        * Happy Halloween.
        * Illinois Early Voting Ends Sunday


        * Editorial: Governors, raining taxpayer $ on Illinois
        * Governor Quinn and Mayor Emanuel Thank New Safe Passage Workers - Nearly 700 Additional Workers Hired This Year to Serve 133 Schools, 69,000 Students Across the City
        * Editorial: Rauner best choice as governor to begin to reverse Illinois’ fortunes
        * Quinn to celebrate Rauner’s UI Labs accomplishment
        * Another Democrat Runs Away From Pat Quinn




            Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller