(105 ILCS 45/1-25)
Ombudspersons; dispute resolution; civil actions.
(a) Each regional superintendent of schools shall appoint an ombudsperson
who is fair and impartial and familiar with the educational rights and needs of homeless children to provide resource information and resolve disputes at schools within his or her jurisdiction relating to the rights of
homeless children under this Act. If a school denies a homeless child enrollment or transportation, it
shall immediately refer the child or his or her parent or guardian to the ombudsperson and provide the child or his or her parent or guardian with a written statement of the basis for the denial. The child
shall be admitted and transported to the school chosen by the parent or guardian until final resolution of the dispute. The ombudsperson shall
convene a meeting of all parties and attempt to resolve the dispute within 5
school days after receiving notice of the dispute, if possible.
(a-5) Whenever a child and his or her parent or guardian who initially share the housing of another person due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar hardship continue to share the housing, a school district may, after the passage of 18 months and annually thereafter, conduct a review as to whether such hardship continues to exist. The district may, at the time of review, request information from the parent or guardian to reasonably establish the hardship, and sworn affidavits or declarations may be sought and provided. If, upon review, the district determines that the family no longer suffers such hardship, it may notify the family in writing and begin the process of dispute resolution as set forth in this Act. Any change required as a result of this review and determination shall be effective solely at the close of the school year. Any person who knowingly or willfully presents false information regarding the hardship of a child in any review under this subsection (a-5) shall be guilty of a Class C misdemeanor.
(b) Any party to a dispute under this Act may file a civil action in a
of competent jurisdiction to seek appropriate relief. In any civil action, a
party whose rights under this Act are found to have been violated shall be
entitled to recover reasonable attorney's fees and costs.
(c) If a dispute arises, the school district shall inform parents and
guardians of homeless children of the availability of the ombudsperson, sources
of low cost or free legal assistance, and other advocacy services in the
(Source: P.A. 94-235, eff. 7-14-05.)