“How our schools discipline our children is one of the most significant predictors of our state’s future.” - State Senator Toi Hutchinson (D - Chicago Heights)

ReportCardRSPRINGFIELD – Has your child been suspended? Expelled? Arrested? Do a large number of students at your child’s school receive severe disciplinary action that keeps them out of the classroom on a consistent basis? A new law spearheaded by State Senator Toi Hutchinson (D – Chicago Heights), is forcing our state to start taking solutions-oriented steps to keep our kids in school and out of trouble.

“How our schools discipline our children is one of the most significant predictors of our state’s future,” Hutchinson said.

The new law requires the Illinois State Board of Education to provide a comprehensive report on school discipline by Oct. 31, 2015. The report must include data on the issuance of out-of-school suspensions, expulsions and removals to alternative locations, broken down by race and ethnicity, gender, age, grade level, limited English proficiency, incident type and discipline duration.

The bill also requires ISBE to analyze the district data annually and determine the top 20 percent in terms of suspensions, expulsions and racial disproportionality. Beginning with the 2017-18 school year, each of these districts in the top 20 percent must submit a plan to, if applicable, reduce racial disproportionality in disciplinary actions, as well as reduce expulsions and suspension as a whole.

“We can avoid saddling students with a criminal record by being proactive in creating and instituting innovative rehabilitative methods,” Hutchinson said.

The law, filed as Senate Bill 2793, was signed into law by the governor yesterday and takes effect Jan. 1, 2015.

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