Proposed Amendments to Part 425 (Voluntary Registration and Recognition of Nonpublic Schools)
The amendments clarify that recognized nonpublic schools must meet the requirements of the School Safety Drill Act (105 ILCS 128) and the joint rules that implement the Act (29 Ill. Adm. Code 1500), which are established between the Office of the State Fire Marshal and the Illinois State Board of Education. In particular, such schools must comply with Section 25 of the School Safety Drill Act, which mandates an annual review for the purposes of updating each school’s emergency and crisis response plans.
In addition, this set of proposed amendments responds to Public Act 97-570, effective August of 2011, which repealed the secular textbook loan program and replaced it with the Textbook Block Grant Program (105 ILCS 5/2-3.155). The law, in part, requires the State Board of Education to ensure “the religious neutrality” of any textbook purchased under the textbook block grant program and to monitor the purchases of textbooks by State-recognized nonpublic schools. To that end, the proposed amendments set forth a process that requires recognized nonpublic schools to maintain certain information relative to the textbooks purchased under the block grant program and provide that information to the State Superintendent upon request.
Initial Review by State Board of Education: December 2012