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Illinois Law & Home Education

SPECIAL NOTE: If you are looking for information on SB 136, please visit my blog at http://www.crazycatladymews.net or go to the Facebook page set up for this topic at http://www.facebook.com/#!/STOPSB136

The jurisdiction of the Office of the Superintendent of Educational Service Region over the Supervision of public and non-public schools is regulated by the compulsory school attendance law.

Article 26, Section 1, Paragraph 1, of the Illinois School Code of Illinois, which states that "Whoever has custody or control over any child between the ages of 7 and 17 years of age shall cause such child to attend some public school in the district wherein the child resides the entire time it is in session during the regular school term, except as provided in Section 10-19.1; Provided that the following children not required to attend the public schools:

"Any child attending a private or parochial school where children are taught the branches of education, taught to children of corresponding age and grade in the public school, and where instruction of the child in the branches of education is in the English Language."

The lllinois courts have held consistently that if instruction is given as the compulsory education law contemplates, then the term 'private school' as a lawful substitute for public schooling has been extended to homeschooling. The burden is on the parent to show that an adequate course of instruction in the prescribed branches of learning is being pursued.

You will note that the Illinois School code has only two basic requirements for private home schools. They are as follows:

1. That the branches of education or subjects taught in a private home school be equivalent to those being taught in the public schools.
2. That the daily instruction of a child in a private home school be in the English Language.

SUMMARY OUTLINE OF ILLINOIS SCHOOL LAWS:
As they pertain to private homeschools

Teacher Certification: Only public school teachers must be certified. (Section 21-1)

Standard testing: Not required by statute

State accreditation or state recognition: Not required by statute

Compulsory attendance: Illinois annotated Code Section 26-1, Ages 7-17 years of age (both inclusive)

Subjects: Language Arts, Social Sciences, Math, Fine Arts, Physical Sciences, Physical Education and Health

Private home school visitations: Not required by statute

Alternative statutes allowing for home schools:

1. Section 26-1 "Any child attending a private or parochial school where children are taught the branches of education, and where the instruction of the child in the branches of education is in the English language is in compliance with the Illinois compulsory attendance law."

2. If contacted by the state school officials, homeschoolers could submit a "non-public school registration" form to the local school district for the purposes of verifying that their children's private education is providing instruction as required by Section 26-1 of the Illinois State Statutes. This, however, is voluntary and not required by law.


Sample letters for withdrawing a student from Illinois Schools and for requesting records be transferred:

Withdrawal letter:

Your Name
Your Home Address
Your Town, IL 60000
February 8, 2006

Mr.Principal
Old School
Old School Address
Town Name, IL 60000

Dear Mr. Principal:

This is to inform you that as of today, February 8, 2006, our child, "Child's Name", will be withdrawing from attendance at "Old" School. "Child's name" will be enrolled at "Homeschool Name".

You will be receiving a letter from "Homeschool Name" formally requesting a Certified Copy of "Child's name" records.

(Here, you may want to put in a list of items you are returning to the school, along with a request for the return to you of any of your child's personal supplies.)

Thank you for your assistance.

Sincerely,

Parents Name

Record request letter:

Your Homeschool Name
Your Homeschool Address
Your Town, IL 60000

February 16, 2006

Mr. Principal
Old School Name
Old School Address
Town Name, IL 60000

Dear Mr. Principal,

This is to notify you of the enrollment of "Child's Name" in "Homeschool Name" as of February 8, 2006.

In compliance with Chapter 1, Section 375.75 of the Illinois Administrative Code, we are writing to request that a Certified Copy of "Child’s Name" records be forwarded to us. Your prompt assistance in this matter will be appreciated, as it will enable us to complete our files.

"Homeschool Name" is a private homeschool. "Child's Name" receives instruction in all branches of education in the English language as required by law. This instruction is in compliance with the requirements of the Compulsory Attendance Law, Chapter 122, Section 26-1 of the Illinois School Code.

Thank you for your assistance.

Sincerely,

"Parents Names"

Illinois Home Education does not, and will not, assume any legal responsibility for families who choose to use these letters. Several members of the group have successfully submitted similar letters to their school districts whenFebruary 16, 2011For further information on the laws pertaining to homeschooling within the state of Illinois, please visit the Illinois General Assembly website.


     
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Updated February 16, 2011

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