98TH GENERAL ASSEMBLY
State of Illinois
2013 and 2014
Introduced , by Rep. Elgie R. Sims, Jr.
SYNOPSIS AS INTRODUCED:
Amends the Chicago School District Article of the School Code.
Provides that there shall be a moratorium on school closings,
consolidations, and phase-outs in the school district in the 2013-2014
school year. Provides that any of these actions that are subsequently
appropriate must be carried out no sooner than the end of the 2014-2015
school year, subject to any new set of requirements adopted by the General
Assembly. During this moratorium period, requires the district to establish
polices that address and remedy the academic performance of schools in
which Illinois Standards Achievement Test scores reflect students
performing at or below 75%. Requires these policies to establish clear
criteria or processes for establishing criteria for making school facility
decisions and include clear criteria for setting priorities with respect to
school openings, school closings, school consolidations, school
turnarounds, school phase-outs, school construction, school repairs,
school modernizations, school boundary changes, and other related school
facility decisions, including the encouragement of multiple community uses
for school space. Effective immediately.
|FISCAL NOTE ACT MAY APPLY||STATE MANDATES ACT MAY REQUIRE REIMBURSEMENT|
A BILL FOR
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AN ACT concerning education.
Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
represented in the General Assembly:
The School Code is amended by adding Section
34-18.43a as follows:
(105 ILCS 5/34-18.43a new)
Moratorium on school closings,
consolidations, and phase-outs.
(a) The General Assembly recognizes all of the following:
(1) The Illinois Constitution indicates that a
"fundamental goal of the People of the State is the
educational development of all persons to the limits of
(2) Quality educational facilities are essential for
fostering the maximum educational development of all
persons through their educational experience from
prekindergarten through high school.
(3) The public school is a major institution in
communities that offers resources and opportunities for
many stakeholders, including not only families with
children who seek and deserve a quality education, but also
the entire community that seeks educational improvement.
(4) The equitable and efficient use of available
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facilities-related resources among different schools,
among racial, ethnic, income, and disability groups, and
among various types of schools is essential to maximize the
development of quality educational facilities for all
children, youth, and adults.
(5) The closing or opening of schools, as well as
school repairs, school additions, school phase-outs,
school consolidations, and school boundary changes, often
have profound impacts on education in a community. These
decisions should be carried out only according to clear
system-wide criteria and with the genuine involvement of
local school councils, parents, educators, and the
community in decision making.
(6) The General Assembly has previously stated that it
intended to make the individual school in the school
district the essential unit for educational governance and
improvement and to place the primary responsibility for
school governance and improvement in the hands of parents,
teachers, and community residents at each school. A
facility policy must be consistent with these principles.
(7) The school district has failed to address the needs
of schools placed on academic probation and failed to
adhere to the requirements of this Code and established
policies regarding the closure, consolidation, and
phase-out of its schools.
(b) Because of the finality of school closings,
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consolidations, and phase-outs and their wide-reaching
effects, there shall be a moratorium on these actions in the
school district in the 2013-2014 school year, and any of these
actions that are subsequently appropriate must be carried out
no sooner than the end of the 2014-2015 school year, subject to
any new set of requirements adopted by the General Assembly.
During this moratorium period, the district shall establish
polices that address and remedy the academic performance of
schools in which Illinois Standards Achievement Test scores
reflect students performing at or below 75%. These policies
must establish clear criteria or processes for establishing
criteria for making school facility decisions and include clear
criteria for setting priorities with respect to school
openings, school closings, school consolidations, school
turnarounds, school phase-outs, school construction, school
repairs, school modernizations, school boundary changes, and
other related school facility decisions, including the
encouragement of multiple community uses for school space.
This Act takes effect upon