House Education Bill Updates

See House Representative contact information in our Illinois Homeschool PAC Notes

HB 2985, which increases the compulsory attendance age to 18 from 17 was not heard last Wednesday, but is scheduled to be heard this coming week on March 16th.  

On March 7th, HB 3027 was reassigned to the House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee and is scheduled for the Hearing this coming Wednesday, March 16th.  Vice-Chair Crespo is the sponsor. This bill removes the "home-school" reference (Statute 105 ILCS 5/26-2a)  that was included last year in passage of P.A. 96-1423, as shown below:

A dropout" is defined as any child enrolled in grades one 9 through 12 whose name has been removed from the district enrollment roster for any reason other than the student's death, extended illness, removal for medical non-compliance, expulsion, aging out, graduation, or completion of a program of studies and who has not transferred to another public or private school or moved out of the United States and is not known to be home-schooled by his or her parents or guardians or continuing school in another country.

 This part of the statutory documentation will be removed if HB 3027 passes: "and is not known to be home-schooled by his or her parents or guardians or continuing school in another country."

Last year, Jim Broadway wrote a piece about that legislation.   Page 88

There was an “error” in the bill that troubled some senators as they debated a motion to concur with the House amendments. The error was that, in the definition of “dropout,” it includes a student who is not enrolled in school and “not known to be home-schooled.” Why would this be called an error?

It is called an error because home-school interests do not want the phrase “home-school” to appear in Illinois law. They fear it will lead to “registration” or regulation. No interest group is more intimidating to legislators than home-schoolers. SSNS is told the error will be fixed and Illinois will regain its status as the only state not mentioning … you know.

If this bill passes, it appears this error will be fixed this year.  Since Illinois homeschoolers want to stay under the protective umbrella of all private schools, as determined in the 1950 IL Supreme Court Levisen ruling, our "intimidating" community should contest any government language separating out our tiny minority from other private or non-public schools.

 Salem's Representative Cavaletto introduced a bill (HB 3179) that passed through the House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee last Wednesday.  It defines a child as a chronic or habitual truant who is subject to compulsory school attendance and absent without valid cause from such attendance to 5% (instead of 10%) or more of the previous 180 regular attendance days.  Representative Cavaletto was asked about the costs if such a bill passed.  

An interesting point was made when Representative Cavaletto was asked what a truant officer does to find out why students are not in school. He said the truant officer would go to the home to find out why they're not in school.  The Representative said he had support from the educators and judges in his county.  Keri Garrett is the Regional Office of Education Superintendent in his area. (See Daytime Curfew Note)

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