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110 ILCS 947/65.45

    (110 ILCS 947/65.45)
    Sec. 65.45. Special education grants.
    (a) Special education grants shall be awarded by the Commission to (i) teachers under contract who are teaching special education courses in a school district within an area designated as a poverty area by the Office of Economic Opportunity, but who are not certified to teach special education programs pursuant to Section 14-9.01 of the School Code and (ii) teachers licensed pursuant to Section 21B-15 of the School Code, but who are not certified pursuant to Section 14-9.01 of that Code. The amount of any grant awarded a participating teacher under this Section shall consist of (i) the tuition and other necessary fees required of the teacher by the institution of higher learning at which he or she enrolls under this Section, but limited to the maximum amount to which a student enrolled in that institution would be entitled as a scholarship under Section 35 of this Act, and (ii) a stipend of $100 for each semester hour or equivalent, not exceeding 21 semester hours, for continuous enrollment, including summer sessions, in one calendar year. For purposes of this Section "tuition and other necessary fees" has the meaning ascribed to that term in Section 35 of this Act. Participating teachers shall enroll in an institution of higher learning providing special education programs. Such institutions shall be approved by the Commission, in conjunction with the State Board of Education and the Board of Higher Education.
    (b) Teachers under contract who participate in this program shall be required to contract with the Commission to teach a special education program for 2 years in a school district within an area designated as a poverty area by the Office of Economic Opportunity. Such commitment shall begin at the completion of the training program of the participating teacher and shall be completed within 3 years unless extended by the Commission. In addition, the participating teacher shall be required to sign a note payable to the Commission, for the full amount of benefits awarded to that teacher under this Section, with interest as provided herein, subject to cancellation as provided in this Section. Completion of one year of such commitment shall operate to cancel 50% of the amount of benefits provided a participating teacher. The failure of a participating teacher to complete all or part of such commitment shall obligate the participant to proportionately repay the amount of benefits provided, plus 5% interest on that amount. Participating teachers who are not under contract shall be subject to those obligations, except that such teachers shall be required to teach in a special education program for such 2 year period in a school district within an area designated as a poverty area by the Office of Economic Opportunity.
    (c) If a participating teacher fails to cancel his or her commitment as provided in this Section, the Commission shall cause an appropriate action to be commenced on the note signed by that teacher, except where the failure to cancel the commitment was occasioned by the death or total and permanent disability of that teacher.
    (d) This Section is substantially the same as Section 30-14.3 of the School Code, which Section is repealed by this amendatory Act of 1993, and shall be construed as a continuation of the special education grant program established by that prior law and not as a new or different special education grant program. The State Board of Education shall transfer to the Commission, as the successor to the State Board of Education for all purposes of administering and implementing the provisions of this Section, all books, accounts, records, papers, documents, contracts, agreements, and pending business in any way relating to the special education grant program continued under this Section; and all grants at any time made under that program by, and all applications for any such grants at any time made to, the State Board of Education shall be unaffected by the transfer to the Commission of all responsibility for the administration and implementation of the special education grant program continued under this Section. The State Board of Education shall furnish to the Commission such other information as the Commission may request to assist it in administering this Section.
    (e) As used in this Section the term "special education program" means a program provided for children who have such disabilities as are set forth in Sections 14-1.02 through 14-1.07 of the School Code.
(Source: P.A. 97-607, eff. 8-26-11.)