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The Illinois State Board of Education is firmly committed to promoting policies that create a safe and inclusive environment for each and every student across Illinois. This commitment is best evidenced by the theme and content of our Every Student Succeeds Act state plan. ISBE intends to provide school districts with information regarding evidence-based best practices and sample policies regarding student discipline, equal opportunity, social-emotional learning and other key facets of the work that must be accomplished to create the safe and inclusive school environment our students deserve. This page is designed to serve such purposes and includes policies developed by school districts within the context of their school communities. While these policies are consistent with the goal of providing a safe and inclusive environment, ISBE is not affirming the legality of these resources and recommends that any school district developing its own policy base such policy on the unique aspects of its own school community and in consultation with legal counsel.

Schools should be safe and supportive environments conducive to teaching and learning for educators and students. On the path to creating this culture, schools should rely less on exclusionary discipline techniques (e.g. suspensions and expulsions) and instead utilize methods that focus on the social, emotional, and behavioral needs of all students.

 Exclusionary Discipline – Districts in the Top 20% for Three Consecutive Years

 Illinois Guidance and Resources

​​Guidance to School Districts

This document is intended to serve as non-regulatory guidance from the Office of the Illinois Attorney General (“OAG”) and the Illinois State Board of Education (“ISBE”) to assist public K12 schools in Illinois in meeting their obligations under state and federal civil rights laws to ad​minister student discipline policies without discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, and other protected characteristics.

​​School Code Restrictions on Suspension and Expulsion

Formerly known as Senate Bill 100, Public Act 99-0456 amends several provisions of the Illinois School Code in efforts to reduce exclusionary discipline practices by school districts. Sponsored bySenator Kimberly A. Lightford, this legislation is the culmination of the statewide efforts of student groups, parents, educators, administrators, ​community organizations, legislators, and other stakeholders. P.A. 99-0456 takes effect on September 16, 2016.

Data Reporting Requirements

Districts must continue to provide ISBE with data on the total number of suspensions, expulsions, and removals to alternative settings as previously required pursuant to P.A. 98-1102.

Data will continue to be collected and housed by ISBE at Data Analysis – Expulsions, Suspensions, and Truants by District.

Beginning in the 2017-2018 school year, ISBE will analyze the data collected over 3 consecutive school years, starting with the 2014-2015 school year, and identify any district in the top 20% for suspensions, expulsions, and removals to alternative settings. ISBE will require that each of these identified districts develop a plan identifying strategies to reduce exclusionary discipline rates and/or disproportionality.

Illinois Partnership for Disciplinary Equity

The Illinois State Board of Education has formed a partnership with the University of Illinois-Springfield and Loyola University Chicago with the aim of providing school districts with help and support necessary to make enduring changes to discipline and create more equitable, restorative, and empathic schools for children to thrive. This work is aligned with ISBE’s strategy 2.1.2, which is to “support district implementation of policy guidance to promote students’ safety and well-being, including non-discrimination and inclusion.


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