(105 ILCS 5/10-20.56)
    Sec. 10-20.56. E-learning days.
    (a) The State Board of Education shall establish and maintain, for implementation in selected school districts during the 2015-2016, 2016-2017, and 2017-2018 school years, a pilot program for use of electronic-learning (e-learning) days, as described in this Section. The State Superintendent of Education shall select up to 3 school districts for this program, at least one of which may be an elementary or unit school district. The use of e-learning days may not begin until the second semester of the 2015-2016 school year, and the pilot program shall conclude with the end of the 2017-2018 school year. On or before June 1, 2019, the State Board shall report its recommendation for expansion, revision, or discontinuation of the program to the Governor and General Assembly.
    (b) The school board of a school district selected by the State Superintendent of Education under subsection (a) of this Section may, by resolution, adopt a research-based program or research-based programs for e-learning days district-wide that shall permit student instruction to be received electronically while students are not physically present in lieu of the district's scheduled emergency days as required by Section 10-19 of this Code. The research-based program or programs may not exceed the minimum number of emergency days in the approved school calendar and must be submitted to the State Superintendent for approval on or before September 1st annually to ensure access for all students. The State Superintendent shall approve programs that ensure that the specific needs of all students are met, including special education students and English learners, and that all mandates are still met using the proposed research-based program. The e-learning program may utilize the Internet, telephones, texts, chat rooms, or other similar means of electronic communication for instruction and interaction between teachers and students that meet the needs of all learners.
    (c) Before its adoption by a school board, a school district's initial proposal for an e-learning program or for renewal of such a program must be approved by the State Board of Education and shall follow a public hearing, at a regular or special meeting of the school board, in which the terms of the proposal must be substantially presented and an opportunity for allowing public comments must be provided. Notice of such public hearing must be provided at least 10 days prior to the hearing by:
        (1) publication in a newspaper of general circulation
    
in the school district;
        (2) written or electronic notice designed to reach
    
the parents or guardians of all students enrolled in the school district; and
        (3) written or electronic notice designed to reach
    
any exclusive collective bargaining representatives of school district employees and all those employees not in a collective bargaining unit.
    (d) A proposal for an e-learning program must be timely approved by the State Board of Education if the requirements specified in this Section have been met and if, in the view of the State Board of Education, the proposal contains provisions designed to reasonably and practicably accomplish the following:
        (1) to ensure and verify at least 5 clock hours of
    
instruction or school work for each student participating in an e-learning day;
        (2) to ensure access from home or other appropriate
    
remote facility for all students participating, including computers, the Internet, and other forms of electronic communication that must be utilized in the proposed program;
        (3) to ensure appropriate learning opportunities for
    
students with special needs;
        (4) to monitor and verify each student's electronic
    
participation;
        (5) to address the extent to which student
    
participation is within the student's control as to the time, pace, and means of learning;
        (6) to provide effective notice to students and their
    
parents or guardians of the use of particular days for e-learning;
        (7) to provide staff and students with adequate
    
training for e-learning days' participation;
        (8) to ensure an opportunity for any collective
    
bargaining negotiations with representatives of the school district's employees that would be legally required; and
        (9) to review and revise the program as implemented
    
to address difficulties confronted.
    The State Board of Education's approval of a school district's initial e-learning program and renewal of the e-learning program shall be for a term of 3 years.
    (e) The State Board of Education may adopt rules governing its supervision and review of e-learning programs consistent with the provision of this Section. However, in the absence of such rules, school districts may submit proposals for State Board of Education consideration under the authority of this Section.
(Source: P.A. 99-194, eff. 7-30-15; 99-642, eff. 7-28-16.)