Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HB2170
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Full Text of HB2170  101st 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 Section
52-3.159 as follows:
6    (105 ILCS 5/2-3.159)
7    Sec. 2-3.159. State Seal of Biliteracy.
8    (a) In this Section, "foreign language" means any language
9other than English, including all modern languages, Latin,
10American Sign Language, Native American languages, and native
12    (b) The State Seal of Biliteracy program is established to
13recognize public high school graduates who have attained a high
14level of proficiency in one or more languages in addition to
15English. The State Seal of Biliteracy shall be awarded
16beginning with the 2014-2015 school year. School district
17participation in this program is voluntary.
18    (c) The purposes of the State Seal of Biliteracy are as
20        (1) To encourage pupils to study languages.
21        (2) To certify attainment of biliteracy.
22        (3) To provide employers with a method of identifying
23    people with language and biliteracy skills.



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1        (4) To provide universities with an additional method
2    to recognize applicants seeking admission.
3        (5) To prepare pupils with 21st century skills.
4        (6) To recognize the value of foreign language and
5    native language instruction in public schools.
6        (7) To strengthen intergroup relationships, affirm the
7    value of diversity, and honor the multiple cultures and
8    languages of a community.
9    (d) The State Seal of Biliteracy certifies attainment of a
10high level of proficiency, sufficient for meaningful use in
11college and a career, by a graduating public high school pupil
12in one or more languages in addition to English.
13    (e) The State Board of Education shall adopt such rules as
14may be necessary to establish the criteria that pupils must
15achieve to earn a State Seal of Biliteracy, which may include
16without limitation attainment of units of credit in English
17language arts and languages other than English and passage of
18such assessments of foreign language proficiency as may be
19approved by the State Board of Education for this purpose.
20These rules shall ensure that the criteria that pupils must
21achieve to earn a State Seal of Biliteracy meet the course
22credit criteria established under subsection (i) of this
23Section. If the State Board of Education establishes criteria
24that includes the use of the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing
25section of the SAT college admissions test as an acceptable
26English language proficiency assessment to demonstrate English



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1language proficiency, the minimum qualifying score for
2eligibility to receive the State Seal of Biliteracy under this
3Section must be established by the State Board by rule.
4    (f) The State Board of Education shall do both of the
6        (1) Prepare and deliver to participating school
7    districts an appropriate mechanism for designating the
8    State Seal of Biliteracy on the diploma and transcript of
9    the pupil indicating that the pupil has been awarded a
10    State Seal of Biliteracy by the State Board of Education.
11        (2) Provide other information the State Board of
12    Education deems necessary for school districts to
13    successfully participate in the program.
14    (g) A school district that participates in the program
15under this Section shall do both of the following:
16        (1) Maintain appropriate records in order to identify
17    pupils who have earned a State Seal of Biliteracy.
18        (2) Make the appropriate designation on the diploma and
19    transcript of each pupil who earns a State Seal of
20    Biliteracy.
21    (h) No fee shall be charged to a pupil to receive the
22designation pursuant to this Section. Notwithstanding this
23prohibition, costs may be incurred by the pupil in
24demonstrating proficiency, including without limitation any
25assessments required under subsection (e) of this Section.
26    (i) For admissions purposes, each public university in this



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1State shall accept the State Seal of Biliteracy as equivalent
2to 2 years of foreign language coursework taken during high
3school if a student's high school transcript indicates that he
4or she will be receiving or has received the State Seal of
6    (j) Each public community college and public university in
7this State shall establish criteria to translate a State Seal
8of Biliteracy into course credit based on foreign language
9course equivalencies identified by the community college's or
10university's faculty and staff and, upon request from an
11enrolled student, the community college or university shall
12award foreign language course credit to a student who has
13received a State Seal of Biliteracy. Students enrolled in a
14public community college or public university who have received
15a State Seal of Biliteracy must request course credit for their
16seal within 3 academic years after graduating from high school.
17(Source: P.A. 98-560, eff. 8-27-13; 98-756, eff. 7-16-14;
1899-600, eff. 1-1-17.)
19    Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon
20becoming law.