Rep. Sosnowski Files Legislation to Eliminate Disparity Facing Non-Public Schools Seeking State Recognition

SPRINGFIELD – State Representative Joe Sosnowski, R-Rockford, filed new legislation today, House Bill 4227, to even the playing field for non-public schools seeking official recognition from the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) in order to be eligible to receive funds through the state’s new School Scholarship Tax Credit Program that took effect on January 1.

“I have been working with private schools throughout the Rockford region over the past several months to prepare for the launch of the new scholarship tax credit program, which brought to my attention the hurdles many face in acquiring state recognition,” Representative Sosnowski said.

“I immediately took action to draft this new bill because it is important to guard against excluding schools and actively support the educational institutions working to gain state recognition. Currently, the process for educational institutions to become certified by the state often takes up to a year or longer. Parents and donors deserve the opportunity to support schools as they undergo the extensive steps for state recognition. It is vital to ensure all schools receive adequate support.”

Specifically, Representative Sosnowski’s legislation defines “qualified school” in state law as a non-public school located in Illinois that has been registered with ISBE for at least one year and is currently seeking the status of “Non-public School Recognition” from ISBE. The Illinois House of Representatives is scheduled to return to Springfield for the start of the 2018 session on January 23.

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