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105 ILCS 5/2-3.25o

    (105 ILCS 5/2-3.25o)
    Sec. 2-3.25o. Registration and recognition of non-public elementary and secondary schools.
    (a) Findings. The General Assembly finds and declares (i) that the Constitution of the State of Illinois provides that a "fundamental goal of the People of the State is the educational development of all persons to the limits of their capacities" and (ii) that the educational development of every school student serves the public purposes of the State. In order to ensure that all Illinois students and teachers have the opportunity to enroll and work in State-approved educational institutions and programs, the State Board of Education shall provide for the voluntary registration and recognition of non-public elementary and secondary schools.
    (b) Registration. All non-public elementary and secondary schools in the State of Illinois may voluntarily register with the State Board of Education on an annual basis. Registration shall be completed in conformance with procedures prescribed by the State Board of Education. Information required for registration shall include assurances of compliance (i) with federal and State laws regarding health examination and immunization, attendance, length of term, and nondiscrimination and (ii) with applicable fire and health safety requirements.
    (c) Recognition. All non-public elementary and secondary schools in the State of Illinois may voluntarily seek the status of "Non-public School Recognition" from the State Board of Education. This status may be obtained by compliance with administrative guidelines and review procedures as prescribed by the State Board of Education. The guidelines and procedures must recognize that some of the aims and the financial bases of non-public schools are different from public schools and will not be identical to those for public schools, nor will they be more burdensome. The guidelines and procedures must also recognize the diversity of non-public schools and shall not impinge upon the noneducational relationships between those schools and their clientele.
    (c-5) Prohibition against recognition. A non-public elementary or secondary school may not obtain "Non-public School Recognition" status unless the school requires all certified and non-certified applicants for employment with the school, after July 1, 2007, to authorize a fingerprint-based criminal history records check as a condition of employment to determine if such applicants have been convicted of any of the enumerated criminal or drug offenses set forth in Section 21B-80 of this Code or have been convicted, within 7 years of the application for employment, of any other felony under the laws of this State or of any offense committed or attempted in any other state or against the laws of the United States that, if committed or attempted in this State, would have been punishable as a felony under the laws of this State.
    Authorization for the check shall be furnished by the applicant to the school, except that if the applicant is a substitute teacher seeking employment in more than one non-public school, a teacher seeking concurrent part-time employment positions with more than one non-public school (as a reading specialist, special education teacher, or otherwise), or an educational support personnel employee seeking employment positions with more than one non-public school, then only one of the non-public schools employing the individual shall request the authorization. Upon receipt of this authorization, the non-public school shall submit the applicant's name, sex, race, date of birth, social security number, fingerprint images, and other identifiers, as prescribed by the Department of State Police, to the Department of State Police.
    The Department of State Police and Federal Bureau of Investigation shall furnish, pursuant to a fingerprint-based criminal history records check, records of convictions, forever and hereafter, until expunged, to the president or principal of the non-public school that requested the check. The Department of State Police shall charge that school a fee for conducting such check, which fee must be deposited into the State Police Services Fund and must not exceed the cost of the inquiry. Subject to appropriations for these purposes, the State Superintendent of Education shall reimburse non-public schools for fees paid to obtain criminal history records checks under this Section.
    A non-public school may not obtain recognition status unless the school also performs a check of the Statewide Sex Offender Database, as authorized by the Sex Offender Community Notification Law, for each applicant for employment, after July 1, 2007, to determine whether the applicant has been adjudicated a sex offender.
    Any information concerning the record of convictions obtained by a non-public school's president or principal under this Section is confidential and may be disseminated only to the governing body of the non-public school or any other person necessary to the decision of hiring the applicant for employment. A copy of the record of convictions obtained from the Department of State Police shall be provided to the applicant for employment. Upon a check of the Statewide Sex Offender Database, the non-public school shall notify the applicant as to whether or not the applicant has been identified in the Sex Offender Database as a sex offender. Any information concerning the records of conviction obtained by the non-public school's president or principal under this Section for a substitute teacher seeking employment in more than one non-public school, a teacher seeking concurrent part-time employment positions with more than one non-public school (as a reading specialist, special education teacher, or otherwise), or an educational support personnel employee seeking employment positions with more than one non-public school may be shared with another non-public school's principal or president to which the applicant seeks employment. Any unauthorized release of confidential information may be a violation of Section 7 of the Criminal Identification Act.
    No non-public school may obtain recognition status that knowingly employs a person, hired after July 1, 2007, for whom a Department of State Police and Federal Bureau of Investigation fingerprint-based criminal history records check and a Statewide Sex Offender Database check has not been initiated or who has been convicted of any offense enumerated in Section 21B-80 of this Code or any offense committed or attempted in any other state or against the laws of the United States that, if committed or attempted in this State, would have been punishable as one or more of those offenses. No non-public school may obtain recognition status under this Section that knowingly employs a person who has been found to be the perpetrator of sexual or physical abuse of a minor under 18 years of age pursuant to proceedings under Article II of the Juvenile Court Act of 1987.
    In order to obtain recognition status under this Section, a non-public school must require compliance with the provisions of this subsection (c-5) from all employees of persons or firms holding contracts with the school, including, but not limited to, food service workers, school bus drivers, and other transportation employees, who have direct, daily contact with pupils. Any information concerning the records of conviction or identification as a sex offender of any such employee obtained by the non-public school principal or president must be promptly reported to the school's governing body.
    Prior to the commencement of any student teaching experience or required internship (which is referred to as student teaching in this Section) in any non-public elementary or secondary school that has obtained or seeks to obtain recognition status under this Section, a student teacher is required to authorize a fingerprint-based criminal history records check. Authorization for and payment of the costs of the check must be furnished by the student teacher to the chief administrative officer of the non-public school where the student teaching is to be completed. Upon receipt of this authorization and payment, the chief administrative officer of the non-public school shall submit the student teacher's name, sex, race, date of birth, social security number, fingerprint images, and other identifiers, as prescribed by the Department of State Police, to the Department of State Police. The Department of State Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation shall furnish, pursuant to a fingerprint-based criminal history records check, records of convictions, forever and hereinafter, until expunged, to the chief administrative officer of the non-public school that requested the check. The Department of State Police shall charge the school a fee for conducting the check, which fee must be passed on to the student teacher, must not exceed the cost of the inquiry, and must be deposited into the State Police Services Fund. The school shall further perform a check of the Statewide Sex Offender Database, as authorized by the Sex Offender Community Notification Law, and of the Statewide Murderer and Violent Offender Against Youth Database, as authorized by the Murderer and Violent Offender Against Youth Registration Act, for each student teacher. No school that has obtained or seeks to obtain recognition status under this Section may knowingly allow a person to student teach for whom a criminal history records check, a Statewide Sex Offender Database check, and a Statewide Murderer and Violent Offender Against Youth Database check have not been completed and reviewed by the chief administrative officer of the non-public school.
    A copy of the record of convictions obtained from the Department of State Police must be provided to the student teacher. Any information concerning the record of convictions obtained by the chief administrative officer of the non-public school is confidential and may be transmitted only to the chief administrative officer of the non-public school or his or her designee, the State Superintendent of Education, the State Educator Preparation and Licensure Board, or, for clarification purposes, the Department of State Police or the Statewide Sex Offender Database or Statewide Murderer and Violent Offender Against Youth Database. Any unauthorized release of confidential information may be a violation of Section 7 of the Criminal Identification Act.
    No school that has obtained or seeks to obtain recognition status under this Section may knowingly allow a person to student teach who has been convicted of any offense that would subject him or her to license suspension or revocation pursuant to Section 21B-80 of this Code or who has been found to be the perpetrator of sexual or physical abuse of a minor under 18 years of age pursuant to proceedings under Article II of the Juvenile Court Act of 1987.
    (d) Public purposes. The provisions of this Section are in the public interest, for the public benefit, and serve secular public purposes.
    (e) Definition. For purposes of this Section, a non-public school means any non-profit, non-home-based, and non-public elementary or secondary school that is in compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and attendance at which satisfies the requirements of Section 26-1 of this Code.
(Source: P.A. 99-21, eff. 1-1-16; 99-30, eff. 7-10-15.)