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105 ILCS 5/2-3.25g

    (105 ILCS 5/2-3.25g) (from Ch. 122, par. 2-3.25g)
    Sec. 2-3.25g. Waiver or modification of mandates within the School Code and administrative rules and regulations.
    (a) In this Section:
        "Board" means a school board or the governing board
    
or administrative district, as the case may be, for a joint agreement.
        "Eligible applicant" means a school district, joint
    
agreement made up of school districts, or regional superintendent of schools on behalf of schools and programs operated by the regional office of education.
        "Implementation date" has the meaning set forth in
    
Section 24A-2.5 of this Code.
        "State Board" means the State Board of Education.
    (b) Notwithstanding any other provisions of this School Code or any other law of this State to the contrary, eligible applicants may petition the State Board of Education for the waiver or modification of the mandates of this School Code or of the administrative rules and regulations promulgated by the State Board of Education. Waivers or modifications of administrative rules and regulations and modifications of mandates of this School Code may be requested when an eligible applicant demonstrates that it can address the intent of the rule or mandate in a more effective, efficient, or economical manner or when necessary to stimulate innovation or improve student performance. Waivers of mandates of the School Code may be requested when the waivers are necessary to stimulate innovation or improve student performance. Waivers may not be requested from laws, rules, and regulations pertaining to special education, teacher certification, teacher tenure and seniority, or Section 5-2.1 of this Code or from compliance with the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (Public Law 107-110). Eligible applicants may not seek a waiver or seek a modification of a mandate regarding the requirements for (i) student performance data to be a significant factor in teacher or principal evaluations or (ii) for teachers and principals to be rated using the 4 categories of "excellent", "proficient", "needs improvement", or "unsatisfactory". On September 1, 2014, any previously authorized waiver or modification from such requirements shall terminate.
    (c) Eligible applicants, as a matter of inherent managerial policy, and any Independent Authority established under Section 2-3.25f may submit an application for a waiver or modification authorized under this Section. Each application must include a written request by the eligible applicant or Independent Authority and must demonstrate that the intent of the mandate can be addressed in a more effective, efficient, or economical manner or be based upon a specific plan for improved student performance and school improvement. Any eligible applicant requesting a waiver or modification for the reason that intent of the mandate can be addressed in a more economical manner shall include in the application a fiscal analysis showing current expenditures on the mandate and projected savings resulting from the waiver or modification. Applications and plans developed by eligible applicants must be approved by the board or regional superintendent of schools applying on behalf of schools or programs operated by the regional office of education following a public hearing on the application and plan and the opportunity for the board or regional superintendent to hear testimony from staff directly involved in its implementation, parents, and students. The time period for such testimony shall be separate from the time period established by the eligible applicant for public comment on other matters. If the applicant is a school district or joint agreement requesting a waiver or modification of Section 27-6 of this Code, the public hearing shall be held on a day other than the day on which a regular meeting of the board is held.
    (c-5) If the applicant is a school district, then the district shall post information that sets forth the time, date, place, and general subject matter of the public hearing on its Internet website at least 14 days prior to the hearing. If the district is requesting to increase the fee charged for driver education authorized pursuant to Section 27-24.2 of this Code, the website information shall include the proposed amount of the fee the district will request. All school districts must publish a notice of the public hearing at least 7 days prior to the hearing in a newspaper of general circulation within the school district that sets forth the time, date, place, and general subject matter of the hearing. Districts requesting to increase the fee charged for driver education shall include in the published notice the proposed amount of the fee the district will request. If the applicant is a joint agreement or regional superintendent, then the joint agreement or regional superintendent shall post information that sets forth the time, date, place, and general subject matter of the public hearing on its Internet website at least 14 days prior to the hearing. If the joint agreement or regional superintendent is requesting to increase the fee charged for driver education authorized pursuant to Section 27-24.2 of this Code, the website information shall include the proposed amount of the fee the applicant will request. All joint agreements and regional superintendents must publish a notice of the public hearing at least 7 days prior to the hearing in a newspaper of general circulation in each school district that is a member of the joint agreement or that is served by the educational service region that sets forth the time, date, place, and general subject matter of the hearing, provided that a notice appearing in a newspaper generally circulated in more than one school district shall be deemed to fulfill this requirement with respect to all of the affected districts. Joint agreements or regional superintendents requesting to increase the fee charged for driver education shall include in the published notice the proposed amount of the fee the applicant will request. The eligible applicant must notify in writing the affected exclusive collective bargaining agent and those State legislators representing the eligible applicant's territory of its intent to seek approval of a waiver or modification and of the hearing to be held to take testimony from staff. The affected exclusive collective bargaining agents shall be notified of such public hearing at least 7 days prior to the date of the hearing and shall be allowed to attend such public hearing. The eligible applicant shall attest to compliance with all of the notification and procedural requirements set forth in this Section.
    (d) A request for a waiver or modification of administrative rules and regulations or for a modification of mandates contained in this School Code shall be submitted to the State Board of Education within 15 days after approval by the board or regional superintendent of schools. The application as submitted to the State Board of Education shall include a description of the public hearing. Except with respect to contracting for adaptive driver education, an eligible applicant wishing to request a modification or waiver of administrative rules of the State Board of Education regarding contracting with a commercial driver training school to provide the course of study authorized under Section 27-24.2 of this Code must provide evidence with its application that the commercial driver training school with which it will contract holds a license issued by the Secretary of State under Article IV of Chapter 6 of the Illinois Vehicle Code and that each instructor employed by the commercial driver training school to provide instruction to students served by the school district holds a valid teaching certificate or teaching license, as applicable, issued under the requirements of this Code and rules of the State Board of Education. Such evidence must include, but need not be limited to, a list of each instructor assigned to teach students served by the school district, which list shall include the instructor's name, personal identification number as required by the State Board of Education, birth date, and driver's license number. If the modification or waiver is granted, then the eligible applicant shall notify the State Board of Education of any changes in the personnel providing instruction within 15 calendar days after an instructor leaves the program or a new instructor is hired. Such notification shall include the instructor's name, personal identification number as required by the State Board of Education, birth date, and driver's license number. If a school district maintains an Internet website, then the district shall post a copy of the final contract between the district and the commercial driver training school on the district's Internet website. If no Internet website exists, then the district shall make available the contract upon request. A record of all materials in relation to the application for contracting must be maintained by the school district and made available to parents and guardians upon request. The instructor's date of birth and driver's license number and any other personally identifying information as deemed by the federal Driver's Privacy Protection Act of 1994 must be redacted from any public materials. Following receipt of the waiver or modification request, the State Board shall have 45 days to review the application and request. If the State Board fails to disapprove the application within that 45 day period, the waiver or modification shall be deemed granted. The State Board may disapprove any request if it is not based upon sound educational practices, endangers the health or safety of students or staff, compromises equal opportunities for learning, or fails to demonstrate that the intent of the rule or mandate can be addressed in a more effective, efficient, or economical manner or have improved student performance as a primary goal. Any request disapproved by the State Board may be appealed to the General Assembly by the eligible applicant as outlined in this Section.
    A request for a waiver from mandates contained in this School Code shall be submitted to the State Board within 15 days after approval by the board or regional superintendent of schools. The application as submitted to the State Board of Education shall include a description of the public hearing. The description shall include, but need not be limited to, the means of notice, the number of people in attendance, the number of people who spoke as proponents or opponents of the waiver, a brief description of their comments, and whether there were any written statements submitted. The State Board shall review the applications and requests for completeness and shall compile the requests in reports to be filed with the General Assembly. The State Board shall file reports outlining the waivers requested by eligible applicants and appeals by eligible applicants of requests disapproved by the State Board with the Senate and the House of Representatives before each March 1 and October 1. The General Assembly may disapprove the report of the State Board in whole or in part within 60 calendar days after each house of the General Assembly next convenes after the report is filed by adoption of a resolution by a record vote of the majority of members elected in each house. If the General Assembly fails to disapprove any waiver request or appealed request within such 60 day period, the waiver or modification shall be deemed granted. Any resolution adopted by the General Assembly disapproving a report of the State Board in whole or in part shall be binding on the State Board.
    (e) An approved waiver or modification (except a waiver from or modification to a physical education mandate) may remain in effect for a period not to exceed 5 school years and may be renewed upon application by the eligible applicant. However, such waiver or modification may be changed within that 5-year period by a board or regional superintendent of schools applying on behalf of schools or programs operated by the regional office of education following the procedure as set forth in this Section for the initial waiver or modification request. If neither the State Board of Education nor the General Assembly disapproves, the change is deemed granted.
    An approved waiver from or modification to a physical education mandate may remain in effect for a period not to exceed 2 school years and may be renewed no more than 2 times upon application by the eligible applicant. An approved waiver from or modification to a physical education mandate may be changed within the 2-year period by the board or regional superintendent of schools, whichever is applicable, following the procedure set forth in this Section for the initial waiver or modification request. If neither the State Board of Education nor the General Assembly disapproves, the change is deemed granted.
    (f) (Blank).
(Source: P.A. 97-1025, eff. 1-1-13; 98-513, eff. 1-1-14.)