Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of SB1577
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Full Text of SB1577  102nd General Assembly




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1    AN ACT concerning education.
2    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
3represented in the General Assembly:
4    Section 5. The School Code is amended by changing Sections
526-1 and 26-2a as follows:
6    (105 ILCS 5/26-1)  (from Ch. 122, par. 26-1)
7    Sec. 26-1. Compulsory school age; exemptions. Whoever has
8custody or control of any child (i) between the ages of 7 and
917 years (unless the child has already graduated from high
10school) for school years before the 2014-2015 school year or
11(ii) between the ages of 6 (on or before September 1) and 17
12years (unless the child has already graduated from high
13school) beginning with the 2014-2015 school year shall cause
14such child to attend some public school in the district
15wherein the child resides the entire time it is in session
16during the regular school term, except as provided in Section
1710-19.1, and during a required summer school program
18established under Section 10-22.33B; provided, that the
19following children shall not be required to attend the public
21        1. Any child attending a private or a parochial school
22    where children are taught the branches of education taught
23    to children of corresponding age and grade in the public



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1    schools, and where the instruction of the child in the
2    branches of education is in the English language;
3        2. Any child who is physically or mentally unable to
4    attend school, such disability being certified to the
5    county or district truant officer by a competent physician
6    licensed in Illinois to practice medicine and surgery in
7    all its branches, a chiropractic physician licensed under
8    the Medical Practice Act of 1987, a licensed advanced
9    practice registered nurse, a licensed physician assistant,
10    or a Christian Science practitioner residing in this State
11    and listed in the Christian Science Journal; or who is
12    excused for temporary absence for cause by the principal
13    or teacher of the school which the child attends, with
14    absence for cause by illness being required to include the
15    mental or behavioral health of the child for up to 5 days
16    for which the child need not provide a medical note, in
17    which case the child shall be given the opportunity to
18    make up any school work missed during the mental or
19    behavioral health absence and, after the second mental
20    health day used, may be referred to the appropriate school
21    support personnel; the exemptions in this paragraph (2) do
22    not apply to any female who is pregnant or the mother of
23    one or more children, except where a female is unable to
24    attend school due to a complication arising from her
25    pregnancy and the existence of such complication is
26    certified to the county or district truant officer by a



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1    competent physician;
2        3. Any child necessarily and lawfully employed
3    according to the provisions of the law regulating child
4    labor may be excused from attendance at school by the
5    county superintendent of schools or the superintendent of
6    the public school which the child should be attending, on
7    certification of the facts by and the recommendation of
8    the school board of the public school district in which
9    the child resides. In districts having part-time
10    continuation schools, children so excused shall attend
11    such schools at least 8 hours each week;
12        4. Any child over 12 and under 14 years of age while in
13    attendance at confirmation classes;
14        5. Any child absent from a public school on a
15    particular day or days or at a particular time of day for
16    the reason that he is unable to attend classes or to
17    participate in any examination, study or work requirements
18    on a particular day or days or at a particular time of day,
19    because the tenets of his religion forbid secular activity
20    on a particular day or days or at a particular time of day.
21    Each school board shall prescribe rules and regulations
22    relative to absences for religious holidays including, but
23    not limited to, a list of religious holidays on which it
24    shall be mandatory to excuse a child; but nothing in this
25    paragraph 5 shall be construed to limit the right of any
26    school board, at its discretion, to excuse an absence on



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1    any other day by reason of the observance of a religious
2    holiday. A school board may require the parent or guardian
3    of a child who is to be excused from attending school due
4    to the observance of a religious holiday to give notice,
5    not exceeding 5 days, of the child's absence to the school
6    principal or other school personnel. Any child excused
7    from attending school under this paragraph 5 shall not be
8    required to submit a written excuse for such absence after
9    returning to school;
10        6. Any child 16 years of age or older who (i) submits
11    to a school district evidence of necessary and lawful
12    employment pursuant to paragraph 3 of this Section and
13    (ii) is enrolled in a graduation incentives program
14    pursuant to Section 26-16 of this Code or an alternative
15    learning opportunities program established pursuant to
16    Article 13B of this Code;
17        7. A child in any of grades 6 through 12 absent from a
18    public school on a particular day or days or at a
19    particular time of day for the purpose of sounding "Taps"
20    at a military honors funeral held in this State for a
21    deceased veteran. In order to be excused under this
22    paragraph 7, the student shall notify the school's
23    administration at least 2 days prior to the date of the
24    absence and shall provide the school's administration with
25    the date, time, and location of the military honors
26    funeral. The school's administration may waive this 2-day



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1    notification requirement if the student did not receive at
2    least 2 days advance notice, but the student shall notify
3    the school's administration as soon as possible of the
4    absence. A student whose absence is excused under this
5    paragraph 7 shall be counted as if the student attended
6    school for purposes of calculating the average daily
7    attendance of students in the school district. A student
8    whose absence is excused under this paragraph 7 must be
9    allowed a reasonable time to make up school work missed
10    during the absence. If the student satisfactorily
11    completes the school work, the day of absence shall be
12    counted as a day of compulsory attendance and he or she may
13    not be penalized for that absence; and
14        8. Any child absent from a public school on a
15    particular day or days or at a particular time of day for
16    the reason that his or her parent or legal guardian is an
17    active duty member of the uniformed services and has been
18    called to duty for, is on leave from, or has immediately
19    returned from deployment to a combat zone or
20    combat-support postings. Such a student shall be granted 5
21    days of excused absences in any school year and, at the
22    discretion of the school board, additional excused
23    absences to visit the student's parent or legal guardian
24    relative to such leave or deployment of the parent or
25    legal guardian. In the case of excused absences pursuant
26    to this paragraph 8, the student and parent or legal



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1    guardian shall be responsible for obtaining assignments
2    from the student's teacher prior to any period of excused
3    absence and for ensuring that such assignments are
4    completed by the student prior to his or her return to
5    school from such period of excused absence.
6(Source: P.A. 99-173, eff. 7-29-15; 99-804, eff. 1-1-17;
7100-185, eff. 8-18-17; 100-513, eff. 1-1-18; 100-863, eff.
9    (105 ILCS 5/26-2a)  (from Ch. 122, par. 26-2a)
10    Sec. 26-2a. A "truant" is defined as a child who is subject
11to compulsory school attendance and who is absent without
12valid cause, as defined under this Section, from such
13attendance for more than 1% but less than 5% of the past 180
14school days.
15    "Valid cause" for absence shall be illness, including the
16mental or behavioral health of the student, observance of a
17religious holiday, death in the immediate family, or family
18emergency, and shall include such other situations beyond the
19control of the student, as determined by the board of
20education in each district, or such other circumstances which
21cause reasonable concern to the parent for the mental,
22emotional, or physical health or safety of the student.
23    "Chronic or habitual truant" shall be defined as a child
24who is subject to compulsory school attendance and who is
25absent without valid cause from such attendance for 5% or more



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1of the previous 180 regular attendance days.
2    "Truant minor" is defined as a chronic truant to whom
3supportive services, including prevention, diagnostic,
4intervention and remedial services, alternative programs and
5other school and community resources have been provided and
6have failed to result in the cessation of chronic truancy, or
7have been offered and refused.
8    A "dropout" is defined as any child enrolled in grades 9
9through 12 whose name has been removed from the district
10enrollment roster for any reason other than the student's
11death, extended illness, removal for medical non-compliance,
12expulsion, aging out, graduation, or completion of a program
13of studies and who has not transferred to another public or
14private school and is not known to be home-schooled by his or
15her parents or guardians or continuing school in another
17    "Religion" for the purposes of this Article, includes all
18aspects of religious observance and practice, as well as
20(Source: P.A. 100-810, eff. 1-1-19; 100-918, eff. 8-17-18;
21101-81, eff. 7-12-19.)