TITLE 23: EDUCATION AND CULTURAL RESOURCES
SUBTITLE A: EDUCATION
CHAPTER I: STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION
SUBCHAPTER a: PUBLIC SCHOOL RECOGNITION
PART 1 PUBLIC SCHOOLS EVALUATION, RECOGNITION AND SUPERVISION
SECTION 1.20 OPERATIONAL REQUIREMENTS
Section 1.20 Operational Requirements
a) Districts' and schools' recognition status is based upon compliance with the requirements imposed by law, including but not limited to the recognition standards established by the State Board of Education pursuant to Section 2-3.25 of the School Code [105 ILCS 5] and this Part, as modified or waived, if applicable, pursuant to Section 2-3.25g of the Code and Section 1.100 of this Part or Section 22‑60 of the Code and Section 1.110 of this Part.
1) No later than September 30 of each year, each school district shall apply for recognition of each school operated by the district. This application shall be submitted to the respective regional superintendent of schools through an electronic submission process established by the State Superintendent of Education, except that a district operated pursuant to Article 34 of the Code] shall submit its application directly to the State Superintendent. For the purposes of this Part, references to "regional superintendent of schools" shall be understood to include the chief administrator of the Intermediate Service Centers established in that portion of Cook County located outside of the City of Chicago. (See 105 ILCS 5/3-0.01.)
2) No later than October 15 of each year, each regional superintendent of schools shall summarize, through an electronic process established by the State Superintendent of Education, the degree to which the schools in the districts for which the regional superintendent is responsible adhere to operational compliance requirements. The regional superintendent shall recommend the assignment of recognition status as applicable considering the compliance-related information supplied.
3) As part of this process, the regional superintendent of schools shall periodically visit the region's school districts as the regional superintendent may deem necessary to ascertain the degree to which the districts' schools comply with operational requirements.
b) Based upon the information provided by the district and the regional superintendent, the State Superintendent shall assign a recognition status for each school and for each district as a whole, which will be posted on the State Board's website at https://www.isbe.net/Pages/Public-School-Recognition.aspx. In each case, the recognition status assigned shall be either "Fully Recognized", "On Probation", "Recognized Pending Further Review", or "Nonrecognized".
1) Each school or district that meets the requirements imposed by law, including the requirements established by the State Board pursuant to Section 2-3.25 of the Code and this Part, shall be fully recognized.
2) A school or district shall be placed on probation if it:
A) exhibits deficiencies that present a health hazard or a danger to students or staff;
B) fails to offer required coursework;
C) employs personnel who lack the required qualifications and who are not in the process of attaining these qualifications;
D) fails or refuses to serve students according to relevant legal and/or regulatory requirements; and/or
E) prolongs or repeats instances of noncompliance to a degree that indicates an intention not to comply with relevant requirements.
3) A school or district shall be recognized pending further review if it exhibits areas of noncompliance that:
A) are not serious enough to warrant probation as delineated in subsection (b)(2); and
B) may be corrected prior to the end of the school year following the school year in which they were identified.
4) A district shall be recognized pending further review whenever one or more of the district's schools are first removed from full recognition, whether recognized pending further review or placed on probation. The district shall subsequently be placed on probation if the instances of noncompliance cited for one or more schools have not been corrected within the time allowed under subsection (b)(3)(B).
c) The recognition status of a district or a school may be changed by the State Board of Education at any time to reflect information confirmed during compliance monitoring or by any other means. Any change in status that may occur during the subsequent school year will be posted in accordance with subsection (b) no later than 30 days after the change in status is determined.
d) The superintendent of a district that is recognized pending further review or in which one or more schools are recognized pending further review may, within 30 days after receipt of notification to this effect, request a conference at which representatives of the district will have an opportunity to discuss compliance issues with representatives of the State Board.
e) The State Superintendent shall schedule a conference with the superintendent of a district that is placed on probation, or in which one or more schools are placed on probation, at which representatives of the district will discuss compliance issues with representatives of the State Board. Within 60 days following this conference, the school district shall submit to the regional superintendent of schools and the State Superintendent a corrective plan that conforms to the requirements of subsection (f).
1) If the plan is required to relate to areas of noncompliance at the district level, the plan shall be signed by the secretary of the local board of education as evidence that the board adopted a resolution authorizing its submission.
2) If the plan is required to relate to areas of noncompliance at one or more schools, the plan shall be signed by the district superintendent and each affected principal.
f) The State Superintendent shall respond to the submission of a plan within 15 days after receiving it and may consult with the regional superintendent of schools to determine the appropriateness of the actions proposed by the district to correct the cited deficiencies. The State Superintendent shall approve a plan if it:
1) specifies steps to be taken by the district that are directly related to the area or areas of noncompliance cited;
2) provides evidence that the district has the resources and the ability to take the steps described without giving rise to other issues of compliance that would lead to probationary status; and
3) specifies a timeline for correction of the cited deficiencies that is demonstrably linked to the factors leading to noncompliance and is no longer than needed to correct the identified problems.
g) If a district's plan is not approvable under subsection (f), the State Superintendent shall notify the district to this effect. If no plan is submitted, or if no approvable plan is received within 60 days after the district's conference with the State Board, the status of the district, or of the affected school or schools, as applicable, shall be changed to "nonrecognized".
h) If, at any time while a plan for corrective action is in effect, the State Superintendent determines that the agreed-upon actions are not being implemented in accordance with the plan or the underlying areas of noncompliance are not being remedied, the status of the district, or of the affected school or schools, as applicable, shall be changed to "nonrecognized".
i) The superintendent of a district that is nonrecognized pursuant to this Section, or in which one or more schools are nonrecognized pursuant to this Section, may request a conference with representatives of the State Board within 15 days after receipt of notification to this effect. (See Section 1.95 of this Part for procedures related to nonrecognition pursuant to Section 2-3.25f of the Code.)
1) If a conference is requested by a superintendent on behalf of a nonrecognized school or district and the areas of concern are not resolved, the State Superintendent shall furnish the school board with a Notice of Opportunity for Hearing. The school board may submit an appeal by adopted board resolution within 15 days after receipt of the notice. The appeal must identify the specific findings with which the district disagrees. The district will be given a hearing in accordance with the State Board's rules for Contested Cases and Other Formal Hearings (23 Ill. Adm. Code 475). A final decision shall be rendered by the State Board.
2) If no conference is requested, the district shall be deemed not to intend to appeal the nonrecognition.
j) Neither a district nor a school shall be nonrecognized under this Section without first having been placed on probation. A district that is nonrecognized, or in which one or more schools are nonrecognized, shall be subject to the provisions of Section 18-8.05(A)(3)(a) of the Code.
(Source: Amended at 45 Ill. Reg. 5744, effective April 21, 2021)