Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HB5707
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Full Text of HB5707  98th General Assembly




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1    AN ACT concerning education.
2    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
3represented in the General Assembly:
4    Section 5. The School Code is amended by changing Sections
527-23.7 and 27A-5 as follows:
6    (105 ILCS 5/27-23.7)
7    Sec. 27-23.7. Bullying prevention.
8    (a) The General Assembly finds that a safe and civil school
9environment is necessary for students to learn and achieve and
10that bullying causes physical, psychological, and emotional
11harm to students and interferes with students' ability to learn
12and participate in school activities. The General Assembly
13further finds that bullying has been linked to other forms of
14antisocial behavior, such as vandalism, shoplifting, skipping
15and dropping out of school, fighting, using drugs and alcohol,
16sexual harassment, and sexual violence. Because of the negative
17outcomes associated with bullying in schools, the General
18Assembly finds that school districts, charter schools, and
19non-public, non-sectarian elementary and secondary schools
20should educate students, parents, and school district, charter
21school, or non-public, non-sectarian elementary or secondary
22school personnel about what behaviors constitute prohibited



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1    Bullying on the basis of actual or perceived race, color,
2religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status,
3physical or mental disability, military status, sexual
4orientation, gender-related identity or expression,
5unfavorable discharge from military service, association with
6a person or group with one or more of the aforementioned actual
7or perceived characteristics, or any other distinguishing
8characteristic is prohibited in all school districts, charter
9schools, and non-public, non-sectarian elementary and
10secondary schools. No student shall be subjected to bullying:
11        (1) during any school-sponsored education program or
12    activity;
13        (2) while in school, on school property, on school
14    buses or other school vehicles, at designated school bus
15    stops waiting for the school bus, or at school-sponsored or
16    school-sanctioned events or activities; or
17        (3) through the transmission of information from a
18    school computer, a school computer network, or other
19    similar electronic school equipment.
20    (a-5) Nothing in this Section is intended to infringe upon
21any right to exercise free expression or the free exercise of
22religion or religiously based views protected under the First
23Amendment to the United States Constitution or under Section 3
24of Article I of the Illinois Constitution.
25    (b) In this Section:
26    "Bullying" means any severe or pervasive physical or verbal



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1act or conduct, including communications made in writing or
2electronically, directed toward a student or students that has
3or can be reasonably predicted to have the effect of one or
4more of the following:
5        (1) placing the student or students in reasonable fear
6    of harm to the student's or students' person or property;
7        (2) causing a substantially detrimental effect on the
8    student's or students' physical or mental health;
9        (3) substantially interfering with the student's or
10    students' academic performance; or
11        (4) substantially interfering with the student's or
12    students' ability to participate in or benefit from the
13    services, activities, or privileges provided by a school.
14    Bullying, as defined in this subsection (b), may take
15various forms, including without limitation one or more of the
16following: harassment, threats, intimidation, stalking,
17physical violence, sexual harassment, sexual violence, theft,
18public humiliation, destruction of property, or retaliation
19for asserting or alleging an act of bullying. This list is
20meant to be illustrative and non-exhaustive.
21    "Policy on bullying" means a bullying prevention policy
22that meets the following criteria:
23        (1) Includes the bullying definition provided in this
24    Section.
25        (2) Includes a statement that bullying is contrary to
26    State law and the policy of the school district, charter



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1    school, or non-public, non-sectarian elementary or
2    secondary school and is consistent with subsection (a-5) of
3    this Section.
4        (3) Includes procedures for promptly reporting
5    bullying, including, but not limited to, identifying and
6    providing the school e-mail address (if applicable) and
7    school telephone number for the staff person or persons
8    responsible for receiving such reports and a procedure for
9    anonymous reporting; however, this shall not be construed
10    to permit formal disciplinary action solely on the basis of
11    an anonymous report.
12        (4) Consistent with federal and State laws and rules
13    governing student privacy rights, includes procedures for
14    promptly informing parents or guardians of all students
15    involved in the alleged incident of bullying and
16    discussing, as appropriate, the availability of social
17    work services, counseling, school psychological services,
18    other interventions, and restorative measures.
19        (5) Contains procedures for promptly investigating and
20    addressing reports of bullying, including the following:
21            (A) Making all reasonable efforts to complete the
22        investigation within 10 school days after the date the
23        report of the incident of bullying was received and
24        taking into consideration additional relevant
25        information received during the course of the
26        investigation about the reported incident of bullying.



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1            (B) Involving appropriate school support personnel
2        and other staff persons with knowledge, experience,
3        and training on bullying prevention, as deemed
4        appropriate, in the investigation process.
5            (C) Notifying the principal or school
6        administrator or his or her designee of the report of
7        the incident of bullying as soon as possible after the
8        report is received.
9            (D) Consistent with federal and State laws and
10        rules governing student privacy rights, providing
11        parents and guardians of the students who are parties
12        to the investigation information about the
13        investigation and an opportunity to meet with the
14        principal or school administrator or his or her
15        designee to discuss the investigation, the findings of
16        the investigation, and the actions taken to address the
17        reported incident of bullying.
18        (6) Includes the interventions that can be taken to
19    address bullying, which may include, but are not limited
20    to, school social work services, restorative measures,
21    social-emotional skill building, counseling, school
22    psychological services, and community-based services.
23        (7) Includes a statement prohibiting reprisal or
24    retaliation against any person who reports an act of
25    bullying and the consequences and appropriate remedial
26    actions for a person who engages in reprisal or



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1    retaliation.
2        (8) Includes consequences and appropriate remedial
3    actions for a person found to have falsely accused another
4    of bullying as a means of retaliation or as a means of
5    bullying.
6        (9) Is based on the engagement of a range of school
7    stakeholders, including students and parents or guardians.
8        (10) Is posted on the school district's, charter
9    school's, or non-public, non-sectarian elementary or
10    secondary school's existing Internet website and is
11    included in the student handbook, and, where applicable,
12    posted where other policies, rules, and standards of
13    conduct are currently posted in the school, and is
14    distributed annually to parents, guardians, students, and
15    school personnel, including new employees when hired.
16        (11) As part of the process of reviewing and
17    re-evaluating the policy under subsection (d) of this
18    Section, contains a policy evaluation process to assess the
19    outcomes and effectiveness of the policy that includes, but
20    is not limited to, factors such as the frequency of
21    victimization; student, staff, and family observations of
22    safety at a school; identification of areas of a school
23    where bullying occurs; the types of bullying utilized; and
24    bystander intervention or participation. The school
25    district, charter school, or non-public, non-sectarian
26    elementary or secondary school may use relevant data and



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1    information it already collects for other purposes in the
2    policy evaluation. The information developed as a result of
3    the policy evaluation must be made available on the
4    Internet website of the school district, charter school, or
5    non-public, non-sectarian elementary or secondary school.
6    If an Internet website is not available, the information
7    must be provided to school administrators, school board
8    members, school personnel, parents, guardians, and
9    students.
10        (12) Is consistent with the policies of the school
11    board, charter school, or non-public, non-sectarian
12    elementary or secondary school.
13    "Restorative measures" means a continuum of school-based
14alternatives to exclusionary discipline, such as suspensions
15and expulsions, that: (i) are adapted to the particular needs
16of the school and community, (ii) contribute to maintaining
17school safety, (iii) protect the integrity of a positive and
18productive learning climate, (iv) teach students the personal
19and interpersonal skills they will need to be successful in
20school and society, (v) serve to build and restore
21relationships among students, families, schools, and
22communities, and (vi) reduce the likelihood of future
23disruption by balancing accountability with an understanding
24of students' behavioral health needs in order to keep students
25in school.
26    "School personnel" means persons employed by, on contract



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1with, or who volunteer in a school district, charter schools,
2or non-public, non-sectarian elementary or secondary school,
3including without limitation school and school district
4administrators, teachers, school guidance counselors, school
5social workers, school counselors, school psychologists,
6school nurses, cafeteria workers, custodians, bus drivers,
7school resource officers, and security guards.
8    (c) (Blank).
9    (d) Each school district, charter school, and non-public,
10non-sectarian elementary or secondary school shall create, and
11maintain, and implement a policy on bullying, which policy must
12be filed with the State Board of Education. Every 2 years, each
13school district, charter school, and non-public, non-sectarian
14elementary or secondary school shall conduct a review and
15re-evaluation of its policy and make any necessary and
16appropriate revisions. Each school district and non-public,
17non-sectarian elementary or secondary school must communicate
18its policy on bullying to its students and their parent or
19guardian on an annual basis. The policy must be updated every 2
20years and filed with the State Board of Education after being
21updated. The State Board of Education shall monitor and provide
22technical support for the implementation of policies created
23under this subsection (d).
24    (e) This Section shall not be interpreted to prevent a
25victim from seeking redress under any other available civil or
26criminal law. Nothing in this Section is intended to infringe



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1upon any right to exercise free expression or the free exercise
2of religion or religiously based views protected under the
3First Amendment to the United States Constitution or under
4Section 3 or 4 of Article 1 of the Illinois Constitution.
5(Source: P.A. 95-198, eff. 1-1-08; 95-349, eff. 8-23-07;
695-876, eff. 8-21-08; 96-952, eff. 6-28-10.)
7    (105 ILCS 5/27A-5)
8    Sec. 27A-5. Charter school; legal entity; requirements.
9    (a) A charter school shall be a public, nonsectarian,
10nonreligious, non-home based, and non-profit school. A charter
11school shall be organized and operated as a nonprofit
12corporation or other discrete, legal, nonprofit entity
13authorized under the laws of the State of Illinois.
14    (b) A charter school may be established under this Article
15by creating a new school or by converting an existing public
16school or attendance center to charter school status. Beginning
17on the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 93rd
18General Assembly, in all new applications submitted to the
19State Board or a local school board to establish a charter
20school in a city having a population exceeding 500,000,
21operation of the charter school shall be limited to one campus.
22The changes made to this Section by this amendatory Act of the
2393rd General Assembly do not apply to charter schools existing
24or approved on or before the effective date of this amendatory



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1    (b-5) In this subsection (b-5), "virtual-schooling" means
2the teaching of courses through online methods with online
3instructors, rather than the instructor and student being at
4the same physical location. "Virtual-schooling" includes
5without limitation instruction provided by full-time, online
6virtual schools.
7    From April 1, 2013 through April 1, 2014, there is a
8moratorium on the establishment of charter schools with
9virtual-schooling components in school districts other than a
10school district organized under Article 34 of this Code. This
11moratorium does not apply to a charter school with
12virtual-schooling components existing or approved prior to
13April 1, 2013 or to the renewal of the charter of a charter
14school with virtual-schooling components already approved
15prior to April 1, 2013.
16    On or before March 1, 2014, the Commission shall submit to
17the General Assembly a report on the effect of
18virtual-schooling, including without limitation the effect on
19student performance, the costs associated with
20virtual-schooling, and issues with oversight. The report shall
21include policy recommendations for virtual-schooling.
22    (c) A charter school shall be administered and governed by
23its board of directors or other governing body in the manner
24provided in its charter. The governing body of a charter school
25shall be subject to the Freedom of Information Act and the Open
26Meetings Act.



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1    (d) A charter school shall comply with all applicable
2health and safety requirements applicable to public schools
3under the laws of the State of Illinois.
4    (e) Except as otherwise provided in the School Code, a
5charter school shall not charge tuition; provided that a
6charter school may charge reasonable fees for textbooks,
7instructional materials, and student activities.
8    (f) A charter school shall be responsible for the
9management and operation of its fiscal affairs including, but
10not limited to, the preparation of its budget. An audit of each
11charter school's finances shall be conducted annually by an
12outside, independent contractor retained by the charter
13school. Annually, by December 1, every charter school must
14submit to the State Board a copy of its audit and a copy of the
15Form 990 the charter school filed that year with the federal
16Internal Revenue Service.
17    (g) A charter school shall comply with all provisions of
18this Article, the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Act, and
19its charter. A charter school is exempt from all other State
20laws and regulations in this the School Code governing public
21schools and local school board policies, except the following:
22        (1) Sections 10-21.9 and 34-18.5 of this the School
23    Code regarding criminal history records checks and checks
24    of the Statewide Sex Offender Database and Statewide
25    Murderer and Violent Offender Against Youth Database of
26    applicants for employment;



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1        (2) Sections 24-24 and 34-84A of this the School Code
2    regarding discipline of students;
3        (3) the The Local Governmental and Governmental
4    Employees Tort Immunity Act;
5        (4) Section 108.75 of the General Not For Profit
6    Corporation Act of 1986 regarding indemnification of
7    officers, directors, employees, and agents;
8        (5) the The Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act;
9        (6) the The Illinois School Student Records Act;
10        (7) Section 10-17a of this the School Code regarding
11    school report cards; and
12        (8) the The P-20 Longitudinal Education Data System
13    Act; and .
14        (9) Section 27-23.7 of this Code regarding bullying
15    prevention.
16    The change made by Public Act 96-104 to this subsection (g)
17is declaratory of existing law.
18    (h) A charter school may negotiate and contract with a
19school district, the governing body of a State college or
20university or public community college, or any other public or
21for-profit or nonprofit private entity for: (i) the use of a
22school building and grounds or any other real property or
23facilities that the charter school desires to use or convert
24for use as a charter school site, (ii) the operation and
25maintenance thereof, and (iii) the provision of any service,
26activity, or undertaking that the charter school is required to



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1perform in order to carry out the terms of its charter.
2However, a charter school that is established on or after the
3effective date of this amendatory Act of the 93rd General
4Assembly and that operates in a city having a population
5exceeding 500,000 may not contract with a for-profit entity to
6manage or operate the school during the period that commences
7on the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 93rd
8General Assembly and concludes at the end of the 2004-2005
9school year. Except as provided in subsection (i) of this
10Section, a school district may charge a charter school
11reasonable rent for the use of the district's buildings,
12grounds, and facilities. Any services for which a charter
13school contracts with a school district shall be provided by
14the district at cost. Any services for which a charter school
15contracts with a local school board or with the governing body
16of a State college or university or public community college
17shall be provided by the public entity at cost.
18    (i) In no event shall a charter school that is established
19by converting an existing school or attendance center to
20charter school status be required to pay rent for space that is
21deemed available, as negotiated and provided in the charter
22agreement, in school district facilities. However, all other
23costs for the operation and maintenance of school district
24facilities that are used by the charter school shall be subject
25to negotiation between the charter school and the local school
26board and shall be set forth in the charter.



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1    (j) A charter school may limit student enrollment by age or
2grade level.
3    (k) If the charter school is approved by the Commission,
4then the Commission charter school is its own local education
6(Source: P.A. 97-152, eff. 7-20-11; 97-154, eff. 1-1-12;
797-813, eff. 7-13-12; 98-16, eff. 5-24-13.)
8    Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon
9becoming law.