|Rep. Joe Sosnowski speaks during
debate on House Bill 3784
SPRINGFIELD– The Illinois House of Representatives has approved legislation sponsored by State Representative Joe Sosnowski (R-Rockford) to make achieving a high school diploma more attainable for students who are struggling academically or those who have truancy issues. Under current Illinois law, a school or school district can deny enrollment to a student 17 years of age or older for one semester for failure to meet minimum academic standards, under certain conditions. Representative Sosnowski’s legislation, House Bill 3784, would remove those provisions from state law.
The bill also raises the standard for addressing students with school attendance issues by providing that a truant minor may not be expelled for nonattendance unless he or she has accrued 15 consecutive days of absences without valid cause and the student cannot be located by the school district; or the school district has located the student but cannot, after exhausting all available support services, compel the student to return to school.
“The concept behind my bill is simple; a school district should not be able to drop a student from enrollment for academic reasons,” Rep. Sosnowski said. “We have some of the finest and most dedicated educators in the state right here in Winnebago and Boone Counties. I have confidence in them to help struggling students improve their academic standing and prepare them for success after high school. We also need to give truant students every possible opportunity to stay in school and complete their education. We have a moral responsibility not to give up on them.”
House Bill 3784 was approved by a vote of 83-24 on March 30. The bill will now advance to the State Senate for consideration and approval before it can be sent to the Governor to be signed into law.
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