Keeping Our Members Informed
NON PUBLIC RULES MOVE FORWARD
The Illinois Part 401 Non Public School Rules are now in a second 45 day public comment period. They were approved by the ISBE Board at their December meeting. This public period ends on January 27 but the real action is happening now. JCAR and ISBE met on January 10 to discuss the rules and any areas that need to be changed. There is a meeting on January 16 for JCAR to examine the impact of the rules on our schools and the children and families we serve.
The initial version of the rules presented one year ago would have been highly restrictive to the private sector and would have eliminated many important levels of due process. There were provisions for making the non public day longer than public school minimums and drastically lengthening the time frames for approvals of new programs. IAPSEC worked diligently with the Board staff to modify or eliminate the rule changes that seemed arbitrary or unduly burdensome.
As reported in our last issue, the revised version, now out for public comment, incorporated most of our recommendations. The companion document which analyzed the public comments from the spring shows a thoughtful analysis of most of our concerns. A few issues remain. One relates to the approval of out of state programs. ISBE does not send staff to monitor these programs on site. One draft rule calls for each out of state program to have the approval of it's own state education board. However, some states don't have such an approval mechanism. This puts the program in a "Catch 22" of being expected to obtain something that does not exist. IAPSEC is currently working with JCAR legal counsel to resolve that issue.