Proposed Amendments to Part 405 (Payments for Certain Facilities under Section 14-7.05 of the School Code)

Part 405 sets forth procedures for school districts to pay the cost of educating students who are served, pursuant to Section 14-7.05 of the School Code [105 ILCS 5/14-7.05], in residential facilities providing educational programs that are not approved by the State Board of Education.  Section 405.40(a), which is the section affected by the rulemaking, reiterates that teaching staff employed by these facilities are required to hold licensure in accordance with criteria set forth in Part 25 (Educator Licensure).  These criteria include teachers who are not yet fully qualified for their special education assignments but who have received "short-term emergency approval" under Section 25.48 of rules governing Educator licensure to serve in those capacities.

Two years ago as part of the agency's rulemaking in response to the educator licensure legislation, staff determined that a need for short-term emergency approval no longer existed.  Therefore, the approval was to be phased out by September 1, 2015.  The approval was put in place to ensure an adequate supply of qualified staff while the agency made the transition from categorical credentialing based on disability category to a cross-categorical system.  The approval is valid for three years, during which time the individual must complete the requirements for the LBS I endorsement.  While special education teachers have been required since 2002 to have an LBS I endorsement, shortages of special educators still exist in many areas of the state.  In 2014 and 2015, for instance, the agency issued 26 approvals for educators to serve in special education positions under this rule.  For this reason, the opportunity to receive the approval should be extended until September 1, 2018, as an incentive for individuals who are not yet fully qualified to pursue opportunities as special educators.

Initial Review by State Board of Education: May 2015

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