All eligible entities wishing to petition for a waiver or modification first must hold a public hearing to consider the request. The hearing must provide for a time to take testimony about the request separate from the time when any other business is being conducted or testimony on other matters is being heard.
All applicants must post a notice on their official website at least 14 days in advance of the hearing. The posting must state the time, date, location, and general subject matter of the hearing.
School district hearings must be preceded by a public notice published in a newspaper of general circulation within the district’s boundaries. Hearings for joint agreements, ISCs, or regional superintendents must be preceded by a public notice in a newspaper of general circulation in each school district that is a member of the joint agreement or that is served by the educational service region or service center, provided that a notice in a newspaper generally circulated in more than one school district shall be considered sufficient notice to all of the affected districts. All applicants must publish the newspaper notice at least seven days in advance of the public hearing.
In addition, all applicants must provide written notice addressed to the affected exclusive collective bargaining agent at least seven days prior to the hearing date. The notice must indicate the applicant’s intent to seek a waiver or modification and that testimony will be taken at the hearing.
Finally, all applicants must provide advance written notice to the state legislators who represent the territory in which the school district or other applicant is located.
Copies of the website notice, newspaper notice, the notice(s) to the collective bargaining agent(s), and the notices to the applicant’s state legislators must be included with the application.
Please Note: The public hearing held to consider waiver applications must conform to the requirements of the Open Meetings Act
(5 ILCS 120/1).
Applications must be postmarked not later than 15 calendar days following approval by the governing board in the case of school districts, joint agreements and ISCs, or by the regional superintendent of schools.
Application forms and instructions for waivers and modifications are provided by the State Board and are available for download. Each applicant must:
- identify the rule or mandate involved (citation or quote of exact language);
- identify the specific waiver or modification sought (to include modified wording of the rule or mandate involved);
- provide justification for the waiver or modification request (i.e., how the request would be more effective, efficient or economical; a fiscal analysis, if the request proposes a more economical method; or a plan for improving student performance or stimulating innovation that indicates how success will be determined);
- describe any testimony provided at the public hearing, to include:
- the number of people in attendance,
- the number of people who spoke as proponents or opponents of the waiver or modification,
- a brief description of any comments made, and
- whether any written statements were submitted at the hearing;
- state the time period for which the waiver or modification is sought (can be no more than 5 years, except in the case of administrative expenditure limitation requests (Section 17-1.5 of the School Code), which are limited to the school year in which relief is sought (i.e. one year only) .
- identify whether the request is for an initial waiver or modification or renewal of a previously approved request; and
- attach to the application (a) a copy of the notice posted on the applicant's official website at least 14 days in advance of the public hearing; (b) a copy of the notice published in a newspaper of general circulation showing the date of publication; (c) a dated copy of the written notification provided to the applicant's collective bargaining agent; and (d) a copy of the written notification provided to the applicant’s state legislators, each of which must state the time, date, location, and subject matter of the hearing and the fact that testimony about the request will be taken.