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105 ILCS 5/2-3.80

    (105 ILCS 5/2-3.80) (from Ch. 122, par. 2-3.80)
    Sec. 2-3.80. (a) The General Assembly recognizes that agriculture is the most basic and singularly important industry in the State, that agriculture is of central importance to the welfare and economic stability of the State, and that the maintenance of this vital industry requires a continued source of trained and qualified individuals for employment in agriculture and agribusiness. The General Assembly hereby declares that it is in the best interests of the people of the State of Illinois that a comprehensive education program in agriculture be created and maintained by the State's public school system in order to ensure an adequate supply of trained and skilled individuals and to ensure appropriate representation of racial and ethnic groups in all phases of the industry. It is the intent of the General Assembly that a State program for agricultural education shall be a part of the curriculum of the public school system K through adult, and made readily available to all school districts which may, at their option, include programs in education in agriculture as a part of the curriculum of that district.
    (b) The State Board of Education shall adopt such rules and regulations as are necessary to implement the provisions of this Section. The rules and regulations shall not create any new State mandates on school districts as a condition of receiving federal, State, and local funds by those entities. It is in the intent of the General Assembly that, although this Section does not create any new mandates, school districts are strongly advised to follow the guidelines set forth in this Section.
    (c) The State Superintendent of Education shall assume responsibility for the administration of the State program adopted under this Section throughout the public school system as well as the articulation of the State program to the requirements and mandates of federally assisted education. There is currently within the State Board of Education an agricultural education unit to assist school districts in the establishment and maintenance of educational programs pursuant to the provisions of this Section. The staffing of the unit shall at all times be comprised of an appropriate number of full-time employees who shall serve as program consultants in agricultural education and shall be available to provide assistance to school districts. At least one consultant shall be responsible for the coordination of the State program, as Head Consultant. At least one consultant shall be responsible for the coordination of the activities of student and agricultural organizations and associations.
    (d) A committee of 13 agriculturalists representative of the various and diverse areas of the agricultural industry in Illinois shall be established to at least develop a curriculum and overview the implementation of the Build Illinois through Quality Agricultural Education plans of the Illinois Leadership Council for Agricultural Education and to advise the State Board of Education on vocational agricultural education. The Committee shall be composed of the following: (6) agriculturalists representing the Illinois Leadership Council for Agricultural Education; (2) Secondary Agriculture Teachers; (1) "Ag In The Classroom" Teacher; (1) Community College Agriculture Teacher; (1) Adult Agriculture Education Teacher; (1) University Agriculture Teacher Educator; and (1) FFA Representative. All members of the Committee shall be appointed by the Governor by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. The terms of all members so appointed shall be for 3 years, except that of the members initially appointed, 5 shall be appointed to serve for terms of 1 year, 4 shall be appointed to serve for terms of 2 years and 4 shall be appointed to serve for terms of 3 years. All members of the Committee shall serve until their successors are appointed and qualified. Vacancies in terms shall be filled by appointment of the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate for the extent of the unexpired term. The State Board of Education shall implement a Build Illinois through Quality Agricultural Education plan following receipt of these recommendations which shall be made available on or before March 31, 1987. Recommendations shall include, but not be limited to, the development of a curriculum and a strategy for the purpose of establishing a source of trained and qualified individuals in agriculture, a strategy for articulating the State program in agricultural education throughout the public school system, and a consumer education outreach strategy regarding the importance of agriculture in Illinois. The committee of agriculturalists shall serve without compensation.
    (e) A school district that offers a secondary agricultural education program that is approved for State and federal funding must ensure that, at a minimum, all of the following are available to its secondary agricultural education students:
        (1) An instructional sequence of courses approved by
    
the State Board of Education.
        (2) A State and nationally affiliated FFA (Future
    
Farmers of America) chapter that is integral to instruction and is not treated solely as an extracurricular activity.
        (3) A mechanism for ensuring the involvement of all
    
secondary agricultural education students in formal, supervised, agricultural-experience activities and programs.
    (f) Nothing in this Section may prevent those secondary agricultural education programs that are in operation before the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 94th General Assembly and that do not have an active State and nationally affiliated FFA chapter from continuing to operate or from continuing to receive funding from the State Board of Education.
(Source: P.A. 94-855, eff. 1-1-07.)