Synopsis As Introduced Amends the School Code. With regard to special education joint agreements, provides that under no circumstances may a petition for withdrawal from a joint agreement be presented to other member districts less than 18 months from the date of the proposed withdrawal. Provides that if a petition for withdrawal is not approved by the other member districts, any petitioning member district (rather than only a petitioning member district that is part of a Class II county school unit outside of a city of 500,000 or more inhabitants) may appeal the disapproval. Provides that the trustees of schools of the township having jurisdiction and authority over the withdrawing district or the hearing panel established by the chief administrative officer of the intermediate service center having jurisdiction over the withdrawing district shall convene and hear testimony to determine whether the withdrawing district has presented sufficient evidence that the district, standing alone, will provide a full continuum of services and support to all its students with disabilities in the foreseeable future; specifies requirements for the withdrawing district prior to the hearing. Provides that each withdrawing district shall develop a comprehensive plan that includes the administrative policies and procedures outlined in specified special education rules of the State Board of Education and all relevant portions of the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Provides that the withdrawing district must also demonstrate its ability to provide education for a wide range of students with disabilities, including a full continuum of support and services. Effective immediately.
Senate Floor Amendment No. 1 Provides that under no circumstances may a petition to withdraw from a joint agreement be presented to other member districts less than 12 (rather than 18) months from the date of the proposed withdrawal, unless the member districts agree to waive this timeline. Provides that upon approval by school board written resolution of all remaining member districts, the petitioning member district must submit its comprehensive plan to the State Board for review. Removes a provision providing that the petitioning member district shall be withdrawn from the joint agreement effective the following July 1. Provides that, in the event of a hearing conducted by a hearing panel, the withdrawing district must, prior to the hearing and among other requirements, hold a public hearing to allow for the opportunity to review (rather than hear) the plan for educating students after the withdrawal and prepare and provide a comprehensive plan (rather than prepare evidence that it has all of the components of a comprehensive plan).