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105 ILCS 5/14-7.02

    (105 ILCS 5/14-7.02) (from Ch. 122, par. 14-7.02)
    Sec. 14-7.02. Children attending private schools, public out-of-state schools, public school residential facilities or private special education facilities. The General Assembly recognizes that non-public schools or special education facilities provide an important service in the educational system in Illinois.
    If because of his or her disability the special education program of a district is unable to meet the needs of a child and the child attends a non-public school or special education facility, a public out-of-state school or a special education facility owned and operated by a county government unit that provides special educational services required by the child and is in compliance with the appropriate rules and regulations of the State Superintendent of Education, the school district in which the child is a resident shall pay the actual cost of tuition for special education and related services provided during the regular school term and during the summer school term if the child's educational needs so require, excluding room, board and transportation costs charged the child by that non-public school or special education facility, public out-of-state school or county special education facility, or $4,500 per year, whichever is less, and shall provide him any necessary transportation. "Nonpublic special education facility" shall include a residential facility, within or without the State of Illinois, which provides special education and related services to meet the needs of the child by utilizing private schools or public schools, whether located on the site or off the site of the residential facility.
    The State Board of Education shall promulgate rules and regulations for determining when placement in a private special education facility is appropriate. Such rules and regulations shall take into account the various types of services needed by a child and the availability of such services to the particular child in the public school. In developing these rules and regulations the State Board of Education shall consult with the Advisory Council on Education of Children with Disabilities and hold public hearings to secure recommendations from parents, school personnel, and others concerned about this matter.
    The State Board of Education shall also promulgate rules and regulations for transportation to and from a residential school. Transportation to and from home to a residential school more than once each school term shall be subject to prior approval by the State Superintendent in accordance with the rules and regulations of the State Board.
    A school district making tuition payments pursuant to this Section is eligible for reimbursement from the State for the amount of such payments actually made in excess of the district per capita tuition charge for students not receiving special education services. Such reimbursement shall be approved in accordance with Section 14-12.01 and each district shall file its claims, computed in accordance with rules prescribed by the State Board of Education, on forms prescribed by the State Superintendent of Education. Data used as a basis of reimbursement claims shall be for the preceding regular school term and summer school term. Each school district shall transmit its claims to the State Board of Education on or before August 15. The State Board of Education, before approving any such claims, shall determine their accuracy and whether they are based upon services and facilities provided under approved programs. Upon approval the State Board shall cause vouchers to be prepared showing the amount due for payment of reimbursement claims to school districts, for transmittal to the State Comptroller on the 30th day of September, December, and March, respectively, and the final voucher, no later than June 20. If the money appropriated by the General Assembly for such purpose for any year is insufficient, it shall be apportioned on the basis of the claims approved.
    No child shall be placed in a special education program pursuant to this Section if the tuition cost for special education and related services increases more than 10 percent over the tuition cost for the previous school year or exceeds $4,500 per year unless such costs have been approved by the Illinois Purchased Care Review Board. The Illinois Purchased Care Review Board shall consist of the following persons, or their designees: the Directors of Children and Family Services, Public Health, Public Aid, and the Governor's Office of Management and Budget; the Secretary of Human Services; the State Superintendent of Education; and such other persons as the Governor may designate. The Review Board shall also consist of one non-voting member who is an administrator of a private, nonpublic, special education school. The Review Board shall establish rules and regulations for its determination of allowable costs and payments made by local school districts for special education, room and board, and other related services provided by non-public schools or special education facilities and shall establish uniform standards and criteria which it shall follow. The Review Board shall approve the usual and customary rate or rates of a special education program that (i) is offered by an out-of-state, non-public provider of integrated autism specific educational and autism specific residential services, (ii) offers 2 or more levels of residential care, including at least one locked facility, and (iii) serves 12 or fewer Illinois students.
    The Review Board shall establish uniform definitions and criteria for accounting separately by special education, room and board and other related services costs. The Board shall also establish guidelines for the coordination of services and financial assistance provided by all State agencies to assure that no otherwise qualified child with a disability receiving services under Article 14 shall be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity provided by any State agency.
    The Review Board shall review the costs for special education and related services provided by non-public schools or special education facilities and shall approve or disapprove such facilities in accordance with the rules and regulations established by it with respect to allowable costs.
    The State Board of Education shall provide administrative and staff support for the Review Board as deemed reasonable by the State Superintendent of Education. This support shall not include travel expenses or other compensation for any Review Board member other than the State Superintendent of Education.
    The Review Board shall seek the advice of the Advisory Council on Education of Children with Disabilities on the rules and regulations to be promulgated by it relative to providing special education services.
    If a child has been placed in a program in which the actual per pupil costs of tuition for special education and related services based on program enrollment, excluding room, board and transportation costs, exceed $4,500 and such costs have been approved by the Review Board, the district shall pay such total costs which exceed $4,500. A district making such tuition payments in excess of $4,500 pursuant to this Section shall be responsible for an amount in excess of $4,500 equal to the district per capita tuition charge and shall be eligible for reimbursement from the State for the amount of such payments actually made in excess of the districts per capita tuition charge for students not receiving special education services.
    If a child has been placed in an approved individual program and the tuition costs including room and board costs have been approved by the Review Board, then such room and board costs shall be paid by the appropriate State agency subject to the provisions of Section 14-8.01 of this Act. Room and board costs not provided by a State agency other than the State Board of Education shall be provided by the State Board of Education on a current basis. In no event, however, shall the State's liability for funding of these tuition costs begin until after the legal obligations of third party payors have been subtracted from such costs. If the money appropriated by the General Assembly for such purpose for any year is insufficient, it shall be apportioned on the basis of the claims approved. Each district shall submit estimated claims to the State Superintendent of Education. Upon approval of such claims, the State Superintendent of Education shall direct the State Comptroller to make payments on a monthly basis. The frequency for submitting estimated claims and the method of determining payment shall be prescribed in rules and regulations adopted by the State Board of Education. Such current state reimbursement shall be reduced by an amount equal to the proceeds which the child or child's parents are eligible to receive under any public or private insurance or assistance program. Nothing in this Section shall be construed as relieving an insurer or similar third party from an otherwise valid obligation to provide or to pay for services provided to a child with a disability.
    If it otherwise qualifies, a school district is eligible for the transportation reimbursement under Section 14-13.01 and for the reimbursement of tuition payments under this Section whether the non-public school or special education facility, public out-of-state school or county special education facility, attended by a child who resides in that district and requires special educational services, is within or outside of the State of Illinois. However, a district is not eligible to claim transportation reimbursement under this Section unless the district certifies to the State Superintendent of Education that the district is unable to provide special educational services required by the child for the current school year.
    Nothing in this Section authorizes the reimbursement of a school district for the amount paid for tuition of a child attending a non-public school or special education facility, public out-of-state school or county special education facility unless the school district certifies to the State Superintendent of Education that the special education program of that district is unable to meet the needs of that child because of his disability and the State Superintendent of Education finds that the school district is in substantial compliance with Section 14-4.01. However, if a child is unilaterally placed by a State agency or any court in a non-public school or special education facility, public out-of-state school, or county special education facility, a school district shall not be required to certify to the State Superintendent of Education, for the purpose of tuition reimbursement, that the special education program of that district is unable to meet the needs of a child because of his or her disability.
    Any educational or related services provided, pursuant to this Section in a non-public school or special education facility or a special education facility owned and operated by a county government unit shall be at no cost to the parent or guardian of the child. However, current law and practices relative to contributions by parents or guardians for costs other than educational or related services are not affected by this amendatory Act of 1978.
    Reimbursement for children attending public school residential facilities shall be made in accordance with the provisions of this Section.
    Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any school district receiving a payment under this Section or under Section 14-7.02b, 14-13.01, or 29-5 of this Code may classify all or a portion of the funds that it receives in a particular fiscal year or from general State aid pursuant to Section 18-8.05 of this Code as funds received in connection with any funding program for which it is entitled to receive funds from the State in that fiscal year (including, without limitation, any funding program referenced in this Section), regardless of the source or timing of the receipt. The district may not classify more funds as funds received in connection with the funding program than the district is entitled to receive in that fiscal year for that program. Any classification by a district must be made by a resolution of its board of education. The resolution must identify the amount of any payments or general State aid to be classified under this paragraph and must specify the funding program to which the funds are to be treated as received in connection therewith. This resolution is controlling as to the classification of funds referenced therein. A certified copy of the resolution must be sent to the State Superintendent of Education. The resolution shall still take effect even though a copy of the resolution has not been sent to the State Superintendent of Education in a timely manner. No classification under this paragraph by a district shall affect the total amount or timing of money the district is entitled to receive under this Code. No classification under this paragraph by a district shall in any way relieve the district from or affect any requirements that otherwise would apply with respect to that funding program, including any accounting of funds by source, reporting expenditures by original source and purpose, reporting requirements, or requirements of providing services.
(Source: P.A. 98-636, eff. 6-6-14; 98-1008, eff. 1-1-15; 99-78, eff. 7-20-15; 99-143, eff. 7-27-15.)