Full Text of HB2170 101st General Assembly
HB2170eng 101ST GENERAL ASSEMBLY
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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 changing Section
2-3.159 as follows:
(105 ILCS 5/2-3.159)
State Seal of Biliteracy.
(a) In this Section, "foreign language" means any language
other than English, including all modern languages, Latin,
American Sign Language, Native American languages, and native
(b) The State Seal of Biliteracy program is established to
recognize public high school graduates who have attained a high
level of proficiency in one or more languages in addition to
English. The State Seal of Biliteracy shall be awarded
beginning with the 2014-2015 school year. School district
participation in this program is voluntary.
(c) The purposes of the State Seal of Biliteracy are as
(1) To encourage pupils to study languages.
(2) To certify attainment of biliteracy.
(3) To provide employers with a method of identifying
people with language and biliteracy skills.
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(4) To provide universities with an additional method
to recognize applicants seeking admission.
(5) To prepare pupils with 21st century skills.
(6) To recognize the value of foreign language and
native language instruction in public schools.
(7) To strengthen intergroup relationships, affirm the
value of diversity, and honor the multiple cultures and
languages of a community.
(d) The State Seal of Biliteracy certifies attainment of a
level of proficiency, sufficient for meaningful use in
college and a career, by a graduating public high school pupil
in one or more
languages in addition to English.
(e) The State Board of Education shall adopt such rules as
may be necessary to establish the criteria that pupils must
achieve to earn a State Seal of Biliteracy, which may include
without limitation attainment of units of credit in English
language arts and languages other than English and passage of
such assessments of foreign language proficiency as may be
approved by the State Board of Education for this purpose.
These rules shall ensure that the criteria that pupils must
achieve to earn a State Seal of Biliteracy meet the course
credit criteria established under subsection (i) of this
If the State Board of Education establishes criteria
that includes the use of the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing
section of the SAT college admissions test as an acceptable
English language proficiency assessment to demonstrate English
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language proficiency, the minimum qualifying score for
eligibility to receive the State Seal of Biliteracy under this
Section must be established by the State Board by rule.
(f) The State Board of Education shall do both of the
(1) Prepare and deliver to participating school
districts an appropriate mechanism for designating the
State Seal of Biliteracy on the diploma and transcript of
the pupil indicating that the pupil has been awarded a
State Seal of Biliteracy by the State Board of Education.
(2) Provide other information the State Board of
Education deems necessary for school districts to
successfully participate in the program.
(g) A school district that participates in the program
Section shall do both of the following:
(1) Maintain appropriate records in order to identify
pupils who have earned a State Seal of Biliteracy.
(2) Make the appropriate designation on the diploma and
transcript of each pupil who earns a State Seal of
(h) No fee shall be charged to a pupil to receive the
designation pursuant to this Section. Notwithstanding this
prohibition, costs may be incurred by the pupil in
demonstrating proficiency, including without limitation any
assessments required under subsection (e) of this Section.
(i) For admissions purposes, each public university in this
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State shall accept the State Seal of Biliteracy as equivalent
to 2 years of foreign language coursework taken during high
school if a student's high school transcript indicates that he
or she will be receiving or has received the State Seal of
(j) Each public community college and public university in
this State shall establish criteria to translate a State Seal
of Biliteracy into course credit based on foreign language
course equivalencies identified by the community college's or
university's faculty and staff and, upon request from an
enrolled student, the community college or university shall
award foreign language course credit to a student who has
received a State Seal of Biliteracy. Students enrolled in a
public community college or public university who have received
a State Seal of Biliteracy must request course credit for their
seal within 3 academic years after graduating from high school.
(Source: P.A. 98-560, eff. 8-27-13; 98-756, eff. 7-16-14;
99-600, eff. 1-1-17
This Act takes effect upon