(105 ILCS 5/2-3.80)
(from Ch. 122, par. 2-3.80)
(a) The General Assembly recognizes that agriculture is
the most basic and singularly important industry in the State, that
agriculture is of central importance to the welfare and economic stability
of the State, and that the maintenance of this vital industry requires a
continued source of trained and qualified individuals for employment in
agriculture and agribusiness. The General Assembly hereby declares that it
is in the best interests of the people of the State of Illinois that a
comprehensive education program in agriculture be created and maintained by
the State's public school system in order to ensure an adequate supply of
trained and skilled individuals and to ensure appropriate representation of
racial and ethnic groups in all phases of the industry. It is the intent
of the General Assembly that a State program for agricultural education
shall be a part of the curriculum of the public school system K through
adult, and made readily available to all school districts which may, at
their option, include programs in education in agriculture as a part of the
curriculum of that district.
(b) The State Board of Education shall adopt such rules and regulations
as are necessary to implement the provisions of this Section. The rules
and regulations shall not create any new State mandates on school districts
as a condition of receiving federal, State, and local funds by those
entities. It is in the intent of the General Assembly that, although this
Section does not create any new mandates, school districts are strongly
advised to follow the guidelines set forth in this Section.
(c) The State Superintendent of Education shall assume responsibility
for the administration of the State program adopted under this Section
throughout the public school system as well as the articulation of the
State program to the requirements and mandates of federally assisted
education. There is currently within the State Board of Education an
agricultural education unit to assist school districts in the establishment
and maintenance of educational programs pursuant to the provisions of this
Section. The staffing of the unit shall at all times be comprised of an
appropriate number of full-time employees who shall serve as program
consultants in agricultural education and shall be available to provide
assistance to school districts. At least one consultant shall be
responsible for the coordination of the State program, as Head Consultant.
At least one consultant shall be responsible for the coordination of the
activities of student and agricultural organizations and associations.
(d) A committee of 13 agriculturalists representative of the various and
diverse areas of the agricultural industry in Illinois shall be established
to at least develop a curriculum and overview the implementation of the
Build Illinois through Quality Agricultural Education plans of the Illinois
Leadership Council for Agricultural Education and to advise
the State Board of Education on vocational agricultural education. The
Committee shall be composed of the following: (6) agriculturalists
representing the Illinois Leadership Council for Agricultural Education;
(2) Secondary Agriculture Teachers; (1) "Ag In The Classroom" Teacher; (1)
Community College Agriculture Teacher; (1) Adult Agriculture Education
Teacher; (1) University Agriculture Teacher Educator; and (1) FFA
Representative. All members of the Committee shall be appointed by the
Governor by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. The terms of
all members so appointed shall be for 3 years, except that of the members
initially appointed, 5 shall be appointed to serve for terms of 1 year, 4
shall be appointed to serve for terms of 2 years and 4 shall be appointed
to serve for terms of 3 years. All members of the Committee shall serve
until their successors are appointed and qualified. Vacancies in terms
shall be filled by appointment of the Governor with the advice and consent
of the Senate for the extent of the unexpired term. The State Board of
Education shall implement a Build Illinois through Quality Agricultural
Education plan following receipt of these recommendations which
shall be made available on or before March 31, 1987.
Recommendations shall include, but not be limited to, the development of a
curriculum and a strategy for the purpose of establishing a source of
trained and qualified individuals in agriculture, a strategy for
articulating the State program in agricultural education throughout the
public school system, and a consumer education outreach strategy regarding
the importance of agriculture in Illinois. The committee of agriculturalists
shall serve without compensation.
(e) A school district that offers a secondary agricultural education program that is approved for State and federal funding must ensure that, at a minimum, all of the following are available to its secondary agricultural education students:
(1) An instructional sequence of courses approved by
the State Board of Education.
(2) A State and nationally affiliated FFA (Future
Farmers of America) chapter that is integral to instruction and is not treated solely as an extracurricular activity.
(3) A mechanism for ensuring the involvement of all
secondary agricultural education students in formal, supervised, agricultural-experience activities and programs.
(f) Nothing in this Section may prevent those secondary agricultural education programs that are in operation before the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 94th General Assembly and that do not have an active State and nationally affiliated FFA chapter from continuing to operate or from continuing to receive funding from the State Board of Education.
(Source: P.A. 94-855, eff. 1-1-07.)