(105 ILCS 5/13A-1)
The General Assembly finds and
declares as follows:
(a) The children of this State constitute its most important resource, and
in order to enable those children to reach their full potential, the State must
provide them the quality public education that the Constitution of the State of
(b) The State cannot provide its children with the education they deserve
and require unless the environment of the public schools is conducive to
(c) That environment cannot be achieved unless an atmosphere of safety
prevails, assuring that the person of each student, teacher, and staff member
is respected, and that none of those people are subjected to violence, threats,
harassment, intimidation, or otherwise confrontational or inappropriate
behaviors that disrupt the educational atmosphere.
(d) In most schools, although the disruptive students who are
the primary cause of inappropriate educational environments comprise a small
percentage of the total student body, they nevertheless consume a substantial
amount of the time and resources of teachers and school administrators who are
required to address and contain that disruptive behavior.
(e) Disruptive students typically derive little benefit from
traditional school programs and may benefit substantially by being transferred
from their current school into an alternative public school program, where
particular needs may be more appropriately and individually addressed and where
they may benefit from the opportunity for a fresh start in a new educational
environment. At those alternative school programs, innovative
school-to-work programs, including but not limited to the techniques of work
based learning and technology delivered learning, can be utilized to best help
the students enrolled in
those schools to become productive citizens.
(f) Students need an appropriate, constructive classroom atmosphere in order
to benefit from the teacher's presentations. Students cannot afford the
classroom disruptions and often become frustrated and angry at the inability of
their teachers and schools to control disruptive students. As a
result, they drop out of school too often. Furthermore, even if these students
stay in school and graduate, they have been deprived by their disruptive
classmates of the attention to their educational needs that their
teachers would otherwise have provided, thereby diminishing their receiving the
education and skills necessary to secure good jobs and become productive
members of an increasingly competitive economic environment.
(g) Parents of school children statewide have expressed their rising anger
and concern at the failure of their local public schools to provide a safe and
appropriate educational environment for their children and to deal
appropriately with disruptive students, and the General Assembly
deems their concerns to be understandable and justified.
(h) Every school district in the State shall do all it can to ensure a safe
and appropriate educational environment for all of its students, and the first,
but not the only, step school districts must take to achieve that goal is to
administratively transfer disruptive students from the schools they
currently attend to the alternative school programs created by
administrative transfers will also provide optional educational programs to
best fit the needs of the transferred students.
(i) Administrative transfers may prove more productive for dealing with
disruptive students than out-of-school suspensions or expulsions, which have
the subject of much criticism.
(j) Because of the urgency of the problems described in this Section, as
well as their statewide impact, the State of Illinois
the responsibility to establish and fully fund alternative schools as soon as
possible, thereby providing school districts with an option for dealing with
disruptive students that they do not now possess.
(k) While school districts shall comply with all applicable federal laws and
regulations, they should do so consistent with the goals and policies stated in
this Article. Further, this Article is intended to be consistent with all
applicable federal laws and regulations.
(l) An alternative school program established under this Article is
subject to the
other provisions of this Code that apply generally in the public schools of
this State and to the rules and regulations promulgated thereunder, except as
otherwise provided in this Article.
(m) The provisions of the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Act apply to
those alternative school programs that are created on or after
effective date of
this amendatory Act of 1995.
(Source: P.A. 89-383, eff. 8-18-95; 89-629, eff. 8-9-96.)