Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of SB1212
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Full Text of SB1212  101st General Assembly


Sen. Kimberly A. Lightford

Filed: 3/15/2019





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2    AMENDMENT NO. ______. Amend Senate Bill 1212 by replacing
3everything after the enacting clause with the following:
4    "Section 1. Short title. This Act may be cited as the
5Course Equity Act.
6    Section 5. Definitions. In this Act:
7    "Board" means the State Board of Education.
8    "Course Equity Catalog" means the website and online
9catalog developed by or for the Board that provides a listing
10of all courses authorized and available to students in this
11State, includes detailed information about these courses in
12order to inform these students' enrollment decisions, and
13provides the functionality for these students to submit their
14course enrollments.
15    "Course Equity Program" means the Program created by this



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1    "Course Provider" means an entity authorized by the Board
2to offer Course Equity Program courses.
3    "Eligible funded student" means a student who is currently
4enrolled in a public school in this State and is participating
5in the Course Equity Program either (1) with permission of his
6or her school district or (2) in a course that is not available
7to the student at his or her school district and is required
8for high school graduation or required or recommended for
9admission to a public university in this State.
10    Section 10. Course Equity Program.
11    (a) The Board shall establish and administer a Course
12Equity Program under this Act that preserves any existing
13contractual agreements and relationships between the Board and
14virtual course providers that are active and outstanding
15immediately before the effective date of this Act, while also
16establishing guidelines to improve equitable access to course
18    (b) The Board must require all Course Equity Program
19courses to align with both:
20        (1) the Illinois Learning Standards, appropriate
21    industry standards, or, for subjects without State
22    academic standards, other relevant standards; and
23        (2) Board-adopted course quality standards, which may
24    be identical to those developed by a national or
25    international organization that supports high-quality



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1    online learning or may modify existing standards to create
2    Illinois-specific online course quality standards.
3    (c) The funding structure for Course Equity Program courses
4must maximize access to courses for low-income students and
5school districts by adhering to both of the following:
6        (1) Regularly calculating the actual cost of providing
7    a course to a student and creating a graduated payment
8    structure around that amount. In calculating this cost, the
9    Course Provider may not offset the actual cost by any State
10    or school district funding. The Course Provider may
11    establish different actual costs for different courses if
12    there is an actual variance in the costs or may establish
13    several tiers of costs into which each course is assigned.
14        (2) Subject to appropriation, charging each school
15    district an amount per pupil per course enrollment equal
16    to:
17            (A) the actual cost, for school districts whose
18        Final Percent of Adequacy under Section 18-8.15 of the
19        School Code is above 100%;
20            (B) the actual cost multiplied by the percentage of
21        a school district's Final Percent of Adequacy, for
22        school districts whose Final Percent of Adequacy under
23        Section 18-8.15 of the School Code is between 90% and
24        100%; and
25            (C) the actual cost multiplied by the square of the
26        percentage of a school district's Final Percentage of



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1        Adequacy, for school districts whose Final Percent of
2        Adequacy under Section 18-8.15 is less than 90%.
3    If the amount of the appropriation is insufficient to cover
4    the subsidies needed to carry out subparagraph (B) of this
5    paragraph, the Board must adopt a modified, equitable
6    funding structure that remains consistent with the goal of
7    maximizing course access for low-income students and
8    school districts.
9    For a public school student who enrolls in a Course Equity
10Program course independently or without the consent of his or
11her school and does not otherwise qualify as an eligible funded
12student, the Course Provider may establish a sliding payment
13scale that offers lower fees if the student is a low-income
14student. School districts must choose to either cover the costs
15of the fee or pass all or a portion of costs to students
16enrolled in Course Equity Program courses, provided that no
17school district may pass on the cost of the fee to a student
18who is eligible for (i) Medicaid, (ii) the Children's Health
19Insurance Program under the Children's Health Insurance
20Program Act, (iii) the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
21program, or (iv) the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance
22Program. No student may be denied approval to take a Course
23Equity Program course solely because of his or her low-income
25    (d) Any public or nonpublic school student in this State
26may enroll in a Course Equity Program course, provided the



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1student has completed all applicable prerequisite course
2requirements; however, transcript recognition and payment by
3the school or school district is only required for eligible
4funded students. Students who are not eligible funded students
5must pay the course fees to the Course Provider.
6    (e) If a public school denies a student's request to enroll
7in a Course Equity Program course, the school must submit the
8reason for the denial to the school board, and the reason must
9be included in board materials at a public hearing without any
10of the student's personally identifiable information.
11    (f) A school district must recognize on an eligible funded
12student's transcript each Course Equity Program course
13completed by the student. A school district may recognize on
14the transcript of a student who is not an eligible funded
15student a completed Course Equity Program course.
16    (g) Each Course Provider must provide a transcript to each
17student in the Program that includes his or her course
18enrollments, course completions, and the final percentage
19grade earned in each course; however, no Course Equity Program
20provider may grant a high school diploma.
21    (h) Course Equity Program teachers must hold a valid
22Professional Educator License under the School Code.
23    Section 15. Course Provider authorization process. The
24Board must perform all of the following:
25        (1) Establish an authorization process for Course



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1    Providers that may include multiple opportunities for
2    submission each school year.
3        (2) No later than 90 calendar days from the initial
4    submission date, authorize a Course Provider if it complies
5    with the criteria and instructional rigor required under
6    this Act.
7        (3) No later than 90 calendar days from the initial
8    submission date, provide a written explanation to a Course
9    Provider that is denied Course Provider authorization. If a
10    Course Provider is denied authorization, the Provider may
11    reapply to the Board in the future.
12        (4) Publish the process established under Section 30,
13    including any deadlines and guidelines applicable to the
14    submission and authorization process for Course Providers.
15    If the Board determines that there are insufficient funds
16available for evaluating and authorizing Course Providers and
17administering the Course Equity Program, it may charge
18applicant Course Providers a fee no greater than the amount of
19the costs to ensure that evaluation, authorization, course
20quality reviews, and administration of the Course Equity
21Program occurs.
22    Section 20. Course Provider authorization criteria. To be
23authorized as a Course Provider through the Course Equity
24Program, a Course Provider must do all of the following:
25        (1) Comply with all applicable anti-discrimination



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1    laws and applicable State and federal student data privacy
2    laws, including the federal Family Educational Rights and
3    Privacy Act of 1974.
4        (2) Provide an assurance that all online information
5    and resources for courses are fully accessible to students
6    of all abilities and that:
7            (A) all of the courses submitted for approval are
8        reviewed to ensure they meet legal accessibility
9        standards;
10            (B) the Course Provider has policies to ensure its
11        organizational and course websites meet accessibility
12        requirements; and
13            (C) the Course Provider has no gateway exam or test
14        in which a specific score is required to participate in
15        Course Equity Program courses beyond completion of
16        prerequisite coursework or demonstrated mastery of
17        prerequisite material.
18        (3) Demonstrate either:
19            (A) prior evidence of delivery of quality outcomes
20        for students, as demonstrated by metrics determined by
21        the Board, including, but not limited to, completion
22        rates, student level growth, proficiency, or other
23        quantifiable outcomes; or
24            (B) for an applicant applying to be a Course
25        Provider and offering a course for the first time, a
26        detailed justification, in a manner determined by the



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1        Board, of how its subject matter, instructional, or
2        technical expertise will lead to successful outcomes
3        for students.
4        (4) Ensure that instructional courses align with the
5    Illinois Learning Standards, appropriate industry
6    standards, or other relevant standards in courses without
7    State academic standards and course quality standards.
8        (5) Provide assurances that the Course Provider will
9    electronically provide, in a manner and format determined
10    by the Board, a detailed student record of enrollment,
11    performance, completion, and grading information to the
12    schools with participating students that are enrolled
13    full-time.
14    Section 25. Course quality review and approval. The Board
15shall establish a course review and approval process for Course
16Providers. The process may be implemented by the Board or an
17entity designated by the Board. To be approved and added to the
18Course Equity Catalog, a course must have all of the following
20        (1) Be, at a minimum, equivalent in instructional rigor
21    and scope to a course that is provided in a traditional
22    classroom setting.
23        (2) Align with the Illinois Learning Standards,
24    appropriate industry standards, or other relevant
25    standards for subjects without State academic standards.



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1        (3) Possess an assessment component for determining
2    student growth and proficiency.
3        (4) Be designed and implemented consistently with
4    standards established by the Board.
5    Section 30. Course Provider and course monitoring and
7    (a) The initial authorization of a Course Provider and
8courses shall be for a one-year period. After the initial
9authorization period, the Board may reauthorize Course
10Providers for additional periods of up to 3 years after
11thorough review of the Course Provider's performance.
12    (b) Course Providers must annually report to the Board, in
13a manner determined by the Board, all of the following:
14        (1) Student enrollment data, including ethnic, income,
15    and gender demographics, which may be calculated based on
16    self-identification by the students.
17        (2) Student outcomes, including student growth and
18    proficiency measures and completion rates for each course.
19        (3) Student and parental feedback on overall
20    satisfaction and quality.
21    (c) If the performance of a Course Provider does not meet
22the standards determined by the Board, the Board must do one of
23the following:
24        (1) Terminate the entity's status as a Course Provider.
25        (2) Place the Course Provider on probation and require



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1    it to submit a plan for improvement. The Board shall
2    determine the terms of the probation. The Board shall, at
3    its own discretion, determine if the Course Provider has
4    met the results required to return to good standing. If a
5    Course Provider fails to return to good standing within the
6    timeframe cited in its terms of probation, the Board must
7    terminate its status as a Course Provider.
8    (d) The Board may exclude a course provided by an
9authorized Course Provider if it determines any of the
11        (1) The course is no longer adequately aligned with
12    State academic standards.
13        (2) The course no longer provides a detailed and
14    quality curriculum and accountability plan.
15        (3) The course fails to deliver outcomes as determined
16    by the Board.
17    Section 35. Board responsibilities. The Board is
18responsible for all of the following:
19        (1) Publishing the criteria required under Section 25
20    for the courses that may be offered through the Course
21    Equity Program.
22        (2) Creating the Course Equity Catalog.
23        (3) Publishing a link to the Course Equity Catalog in a
24    prominent location on the Board's website, which shall
25    include a list of courses offered by Course Providers



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1    available through the Course Equity Program, a detailed
2    description of the courses, and any available parent and
3    student survey and outcome data. The data in this catalog
4    must be published online in an open format that can be
5    retrieved, downloaded, indexed, and searched by commonly
6    used web search applications. An open format is one that is
7    platform independent, machine readable, and made available
8    to the public without restrictions that would impede the
9    re-use of that information.
10        (4) Establishing and publishing a time frame or
11    specific dates by which students are able to withdraw from
12    a course provided through the Course Equity Program without
13    the student, school district, or Course Provider incurring
14    a penalty.
15        (5) Submitting an annual report on the Course Equity
16    Program to the Governor and the General Assembly. The
17    report shall, at a minimum, include all of the following
18    information:
19            (A) The annual number of students participating in
20        courses authorized under this Act and the total number
21        of courses in which students are enrolled.
22            (B) The number of authorized Course Providers.
23            (C) The number of authorized courses and the number
24        of students enrolled in each course.
25            (D) The number of courses available by subject.
26            (E) The number of students enrolled in courses by



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1        subject.
2            (F) Student outcome data reported for all students
3        and for subgroups of students, as determined by the
4        Board, by course.
5    Section 40. School district responsibilities. A school
6district is responsible for both of the following:
7        (1) Publishing Program information and eligibility
8    guidelines on the school district's website with a link to
9    the Board's Course Equity Catalog.
10        (2) Establishing policies and procedures in which, for
11    each eligible funded student, credits earned through a
12    Course Provider appear on the student's official
13    transcript and count fully toward the requirements of any
14    approved diploma.
15    Section 45. Rules. The Board may adopt any rules necessary
16to implement this Act.
17    Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon
18becoming law.".