(105 ILCS 5/13A-3)
    Sec. 13A-3. Alternative schools.
    (a) Except with respect to the Chicago public school system as provided in Section 13A-11, beginning with the 1996-97 school year, there is hereby created in this State a system of alternative school education programs. At least one alternative school program may be located within each educational service region or established jointly by more than one regional office of education to serve more than one educational service region.
    (b) Each regional superintendent shall hold a public hearing, by December 1 of the school year following the effective date of this amendatory Act of 1995, to determine the need for an alternative school. The hearing shall be held before the regional board. The regional superintendent, after consulting with the district superintendent of each school district located within the regional superintendent's educational service region and the regional board, shall determine the location and the need of the alternative school within that region. In making this determination, the regional superintendent shall consider the following:
        (1) the possible utilization of existing buildings,
including but not limited to governmental buildings, that are, or could reasonably be made, usable as an alternative school;
        (2) which available option would be least costly; and
        (3) distances that administratively transferred
students would need to travel and the costs of that travel.
    (c) Upon determination of the need for establishment of an alternative school program, each school district located within the region shall provide the regional superintendent with a copy of the district's discipline policy and procedure for effecting the suspension or expulsion of the students of that district. Thereafter, the regional superintendent in cooperation with a representative from each school district in the region shall establish and each school district in the region shall adopt policies and procedures that shall guide each district in the identification and placement of students in the alternative school program.
    (d) The regional superintendent shall locate the alternative school program so that it is as far away from any other school buildings or school grounds in that educational service region as circumstances permit.
    (e) With the approval of the State board, additional alternative school programs may be established in an educational service region. If the regional superintendent determines that an additional alternative school is required in the regional superintendent's educational service region, he or she may petition the State board to authorize one or more additional alternative school programs in that region.
    (f) In determining whether an additional alternative school program is necessary and appropriate for an educational service region requesting it, the State board shall consider, among other factors, the following:
        (1) the geographic size of the educational service
region and distances that students within that region must travel in order to attend the existing alternative school program;
        (2) the student population of schools comprising the
educational service region and the likely student population of all alternative school programs within that region if the petition is granted;
        (3) any other logistical considerations; and
        (4) the costs necessitated by establishing an
additional alternative school in that educational service region.
    (g) In the event the State board grants a petition for an additional alternative school program, then the State board, after consulting the regional superintendent, shall decide where the additional alternative school program shall be located within that region.
(Source: P.A. 89-383, eff. 8-18-95; 89-629, eff. 8-9-96.)