Governor Signs Sosnowski Bill to Empower Struggling Students to Complete High School Education

SPRINGFIELD Governor Bruce Rauner signed legislation on Monday to make achieving a high school diploma more attainable for students who are struggling academically or those who have truancy issues.   Prior to the signing of this law, an Illinois school or school district could deny enrollment to a student 17 years of age or older for one semester for failure to meet minimum academic standards, under certain conditions.  The new law, Public Act 100-0825, removes those provisions from state law. The bill was introduced and sponsored by State Representative Joe Sosnowski, R-Rockford.  

The law 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,” Representative 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.”  

Public Act 100-0825 was introduced by Representative Sosnowski as House Bill 3784 and was sponsored in the State Senate by Senator Chuck Weaver, R-Peoria.    

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