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90_HB3344 105 ILCS 5/26-1 from Ch. 122, par. 26-1 105 ILCS 5/26-1.5 new Amends the School Code. Provides that the exception to the compulsory public school attendance requirements that is accorded to children attending a private or parochial school where instruction is provided in the English language in the branches of education taught to children of corresponding age or grade in the public schools does not extend to children in a home school program unless that program meets the requirements for a valid home school program. Provides that a home school program in which the required instruction is provided is not a valid home school program unless proper notice is given to the regional superintendent of schools (or chief administrator of an educational service center in Chicago) of names, addresses, and birthdates of the children in the program, unless those children (subject to certain religious, constitutional, or medical exceptions) receive the same immunizations and vision and hearing screenings as public school children, unless those children who are in the equivalent of third and fifth grade take the State IGAP tests in reading, writing, and mathematics, and unless appropriate arrangements are made by the parent or guardian for the annual evaluation of the academic progress of those home-school students who do not take the State IGAP tests in a particular year, such evaluation to be by nationally normed student achievement tests, a detailed portfolio of lesson plans and the child's completed work, or some other academic evaluation mutually agreeable to the parent or guardian and the regional superintendent of schools or chief administrator. Adds provisions relative to remediation. Provides that a parent or guardian violates the compulsory attendance laws of the State and is subject to prosecution if the home school program in which his or her child is enrolled is not a valid home school program. LRB9008893THpk LRB9008893THpk 1 AN ACT to amend the School Code by changing Section 26-1 2 and adding Section 26-1.5. 3 Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois, 4 represented in the General Assembly: 5 Section 5. The School Code is amended by changing 6 Section 26-1 and adding Section 26-1.5 as follows: 7 (105 ILCS 5/26-1) (from Ch. 122, par. 26-1) 8 Sec. 26-1. Compulsory school age-Exemptions. Whoever has 9 custody or control of any child between the ages of 7 and 16 10 years shall cause such child to attend some public school in 11 the district wherein the child resides the entire time it is 12 in session during the regular school term, except as provided 13 in Section 10-19.1, and during a required summer school 14 program established under Section 10-22.33B; provided, that 15 the following children shall not be required to attend the 16 public schools: 17 1. Any child attending a private or a parochial school 18 where children are taught the branches of education taught to 19 children of corresponding age and grade in the public 20 schools, and where the instruction of the child in the 21 branches of education is in the English language. However, 22 the exception created by this paragraph to the compulsory 23 public school attendance requirement of this Section shall 24 not apply to a child attending a home school program under 25 which instruction is provided to a child in the child's home 26 by his or her parent or guardian unless that program 27 qualifies as a valid home school program under Section 28 26-1.5; 29 2. Any child who is physically or mentally unable to 30 attend school, such disability being certified to the county 31 or district truant officer by a competent physician or a -2- LRB9008893THpk 1 Christian Science practitioner residing in this State and 2 listed in the Christian Science Journal; or who is excused 3 for temporary absence for cause by the principal or teacher 4 of the school which the child attends; the exemptions in this 5 paragraph (2) do not apply to any female who is pregnant or 6 the mother of one or more children, except where a female is 7 unable to attend school due to a complication arising from 8 her pregnancy and the existence of such complication is 9 certified to the county or district truant officer by a 10 competent physician; 11 3. Any child necessarily and lawfully employed according 12 to the provisions of the law regulating child labor may be 13 excused from attendance at school by the county 14 superintendent of schools or the superintendent of the public 15 school which the child should be attending, on certification 16 of the facts by and the recommendation of the school board of 17 the public school district in which the child resides. In 18 districts having part time continuation schools, children so 19 excused shall attend such schools at least 8 hours each week; 20 4. Any child over 12 and under 14 years of age while in 21 attendance at confirmation classes; 22 5. Any child absent from a public school on a particular 23 day or days or at a particular time of day for the reason 24 that he is unable to attend classes or to participate in any 25 examination, study or work requirements on a particular day 26 or days or at a particular time of day, because the tenets of 27 his religion forbid secular activity on a particular day or 28 days or at a particular time of day. Each school board shall 29 prescribe rules and regulations relative to absences for 30 religious holidays including, but not limited to, a list of 31 religious holidays on which it shall be mandatory to excuse a 32 child; but nothing in this paragraph 5 shall be construed to 33 limit the right of any school board, at its discretion, to 34 excuse an absence on any other day by reason of the -3- LRB9008893THpk 1 observance of a religious holiday. A school board may 2 require the parent or guardian of a child who is to be 3 excused from attending school due to the observance of a 4 religious holiday to give notice, not exceeding 5 days, of 5 the child's absence to the school principal or other school 6 personnel. Any child excused from attending school under 7 this paragraph 5 shall not be required to submit a written 8 excuse for such absence after returning to school. 9 (Source: P.A. 89-610, eff. 8-6-96.) 10 (105 ILCS 5/26-1.5 new) 11 Sec. 26-1.5. Valid home school programs. In order to 12 qualify as a valid home school program within the meaning of 13 paragraph 1 of Section 26-1, a home school program in which 14 the required instruction is provided to a child in the 15 child's home by his or her parent or guardian must meet all 16 of the following requirements: 17 (1) The parent or guardian shall notify the 18 regional superintendent of schools of the educational 19 service region in which the parent resides (or, if the 20 parent resides in a city of 500,000 or more population, 21 the chief administrator of the educational service center 22 for the public school system of that city), not later 23 than November 15 of each calendar year, of the names, 24 addresses, and birthdates of all children who are then 25 enrolled as students or receiving instruction in the home 26 school program. The notice shall be in writing, shall be 27 signed by the child's parent or guardian, and shall be 28 accompanied by a copy of a birth, baptismal, or 29 equivalent certificate or record of the child's name and 30 age. 31 (2) Each child enrolled as a student or receiving 32 instruction in the home school program shall be required 33 by the parent or guardian to receive such immunizations -4- LRB9008893THpk 1 against preventable communicable diseases and such vision 2 and hearing screening services as the Department of 3 Public Health shall require for school children generally 4 under rules and regulations promulgated by the Department 5 pursuant to the Communicable Disease Prevention Act, the 6 Child Vision and Hearing Test Act, and Section 27-8.1 of 7 the School Code. However, the parent or guardian of a 8 child who objects to immunizations on religious grounds 9 or to vision and hearing screening services on 10 constitutional grounds shall not be required to submit 11 his or her child or ward to the immunization or 12 screening, nor shall an immunization be required if a 13 physician employed by the parent or guardian to provide 14 care and treatment to the child states that the child's 15 physical condition is such that administration of one or 16 more of the required immunizing agents would be 17 detrimental to the health of the child. The parent or 18 guardian shall submit to the regional superintendent of 19 schools or chief administrator of the educational service 20 region to whom the notice required by paragraph (1) of 21 this Section is to be given, not later than November 15 22 of each calendar year, proof that each child then 23 enrolled as a student or receiving instruction in the 24 home school program has received the immunizations and 25 screenings required by this paragraph. If a child has 26 not received the immunizations or screenings, the child's 27 parent or guardian shall submit to the regional 28 superintendent of schools or chief administrator of the 29 educational service center a signed statement detailing 30 the grounds for the religious or constitutional 31 objections or the physician's statement that 32 administration of the required immunizing agent or agents 33 would be harmful to the child. 34 (3) During the common month of each school year -5- LRB9008893THpk 1 established by the State Board of Education for the 2 administration of State assessment tests in reading, 3 writing, and mathematics to third and fifth grade 4 students of the public schools, each child who is then 5 enrolled as a student or receiving instruction in a home 6 school program as a third or fifth grade student or as a 7 student who is at a level of academic ability comparable 8 to that of a third or fifth grade student shall take the 9 same grade-appropriate level of the State assessment 10 tests as are taken by public school students in that 11 grade. The tests may be administered by the parent or 12 guardian, or the parent or guardian may elect to have the 13 tests administered at a location and under procedures 14 designated by the appropriate regional superintendent of 15 schools or chief administrator of the educational service 16 center. The tests shall be scored in the same manner as 17 all State assessment tests administered under Section 18 2-3.64 are scored, and the scores shall be reported to 19 the home school program. 20 (4) Except for those 2 years when the educational 21 progress of a child who is enrolled as a student or 22 receiving instruction in a home school program is 23 evaluated in the manner provided by paragraph (3) of this 24 Section, the educational ability and progress of the 25 child shall be evaluated annually by (i) a nationally 26 normed student achievement test, (ii) submission and 27 evaluation of a detailed portfolio of lesson plans and 28 the student's completed work over a recent consecutive 12 29 month period preceding the submission for evaluation, or 30 (iii) some alternative measurement that will document the 31 student's educational ability and progress and that is 32 mutually agreeable to the parent or guardian and the 33 regional superintendent of schools or chief administrator 34 of the educational service center, as the case may be. -6- LRB9008893THpk 1 (5) If a child who is enrolled as a student or 2 receiving instruction in a home school program performs 3 below the thirtieth percentile range on any part of a 4 test administered to the child under paragraph (3) or (4) 5 of this Section, the parent or guardian must provide 6 remedial instruction to the child during the succeeding 7 12 month period and retest the child at the end of that 8 period on the same test or part of the test on which the 9 unacceptable score was earned. The scores on the retest 10 shall be reported by the parent or guardian to the 11 appropriate regional superintendent of schools or the 12 chief administrator of the educational service center, as 13 the case may be. 14 (6) At the time the notice required by paragraph 15 (1) of this Section is given to the regional 16 superintendent of schools or chief administrator of the 17 educational service center prescribed by that paragraph, 18 the parent or guardian also shall give written notice to 19 that regional superintendent of schools or chief 20 administrator of the number of children in the home 21 school program to whom third and fifth grade State 22 assessment tests are to be administered during the 23 ensuing calendar year as provided in paragraph (3) and 24 whether those tests are to be administered by the parent 25 or guardian or at a location and under procedures 26 designated by the regional superintendent of schools or 27 chief administrator. The notice also shall state, for 28 each child in the home school program who will not be 29 taking a State assessment test during that ensuing 30 calendar year, which of the 3 alternatives available 31 under paragraph (4) shall be used to evaluate the 32 educational progress of such child or children during the 33 current and ensuing calendar years. It shall then be the 34 responsibility of the regional superintendent of schools -7- LRB9008893THpk 1 or chief administrator to arrange to meet or discuss with 2 the parent or guardian the manner in which the 3 requirements of paragraphs (3) and (4) of this Section 4 shall be implemented during the current and ensuing 5 calendar years. The parent or guardian shall make 6 himself or herself available on a reasonable basis to 7 meet or discuss with the regional superintendent of 8 schools or chief administrator the manner of implementing 9 those requirements. 10 If a home school program does not meet the requirements of 11 this Section and therefore does not qualify as a valid home 12 school program within the meaning of paragraph (1) of Section 13 26-1: (i) the parents or legal guardian of a child who is 14 enrolled as a student in or receives instruction in that home 15 school program and does not otherwise satisfy the compulsory 16 attendance requirements of Section 26-1 shall be considered 17 in violation of Section 26-1 and subject to any penalty 18 imposed under Section 26-10; and (ii) the child shall be 19 deemed truant and absent without cause from compulsory school 20 attendance on any school day or portion thereof when he or 21 she is enrolled as a student or receives instruction in that 22 home school program but does not otherwise satisfy the 23 compulsory attendance requirements of Section 26-1.
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