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1    AN ACT concerning education.
2    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
3represented in the General Assembly:
4    Section 5. The School Code is amended by changing Section
53-15.12 as follows:
6    (105 ILCS 5/3-15.12)  (from Ch. 122, par. 3-15.12)
7    Sec. 3-15.12. High school equivalency testing program. The
8regional superintendent of schools shall make available for
9qualified individuals residing within the region a High School
10Equivalency Testing Program. For that purpose the regional
11superintendent alone or with other regional superintendents
12may establish and supervise a testing center or centers to
13administer the secure forms for high school equivalency testing
14to qualified persons. Such centers shall be under the
15supervision of the regional superintendent in whose region such
16centers are located, subject to the approval of the Executive
17Director of the Illinois Community College Board.
18    An individual is eligible to apply to the regional
19superintendent of schools for the region in which he or she
20resides if he or she is: (a) a person who is 17 years of age or
21older, has maintained residence in the State of Illinois, and
22is not a high school graduate; (b) a person who is successfully
23completing an alternative education program under Section



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12-3.81, Article 13A, or Article 13B; or (c) a person who is
2enrolled in a youth education program sponsored by the Illinois
3National Guard. For purposes of this Section, residence is that
4abode which the applicant considers his or her home. Applicants
5may provide as sufficient proof of such residence and as an
6acceptable form of identification a driver's license, valid
7passport, military ID, or other form of government-issued
8national or foreign identification that shows the applicant's
9name, address, date of birth, signature, and photograph or
10other acceptable identification as may be allowed by law or as
11regulated by the Illinois Community College Board. Such
12regional superintendent shall determine if the applicant meets
13statutory and regulatory state standards. If qualified the
14applicant shall at the time of such application pay a fee
15established by the Illinois Community College Board, which fee
16shall be paid into a special fund under the control and
17supervision of the regional superintendent. Such moneys
18received by the regional superintendent shall be used, first,
19for the expenses incurred in administering and scoring the
20examination, and next for other educational programs that are
21developed and designed by the regional superintendent of
22schools to assist those who successfully complete high school
23equivalency testing in furthering their academic development
24or their ability to secure and retain gainful employment,
25including programs for the competitive award based on test
26scores of college or adult education scholarship grants or



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1similar educational incentives. Any excess moneys shall be paid
2into the institute fund.
3    Any applicant who has achieved the minimum passing
4standards as established by the Illinois Community College
5Board shall be notified in writing by the regional
6superintendent and shall be issued a high school equivalency
7certificate on the forms provided by the Illinois Community
8College Board. The regional superintendent shall then certify
9to the Illinois Community College Board the score of the
10applicant and such other and additional information that may be
11required by the Illinois Community College Board. The moneys
12received therefrom shall be used in the same manner as provided
13for in this Section.
14    Any applicant who has attained the age of 17 years and
15maintained residence in the State of Illinois and is not a high
16school graduate, any person who has enrolled in a youth
17education program sponsored by the Illinois National Guard, or
18any person who has successfully completed an alternative
19education program under Section 2-3.81, Article 13A, or Article
2013B is eligible to apply for a high school equivalency
21certificate (if he or she meets the requirements prescribed by
22the Illinois Community College Board) upon showing evidence
23that he or she has completed, successfully, high school
24equivalency testing, administered by the United States Armed
25Forces Institute, official high school equivalency testing
26centers established in other states, Veterans' Administration



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1Hospitals, or the office of the State Superintendent of
2Education for the Illinois State Penitentiary System and the
3Department of Corrections. Such applicant shall apply to the
4regional superintendent of the region wherein he or she has
5maintained residence, and, upon payment of a fee established by
6the Illinois Community College Board, the regional
7superintendent shall issue a high school equivalency
8certificate and immediately thereafter certify to the Illinois
9Community College Board the score of the applicant and such
10other and additional information as may be required by the
11Illinois Community College Board.
12    Notwithstanding the provisions of this Section, any
13applicant who has been out of school for at least one year may
14request the regional superintendent of schools to administer
15restricted high school equivalency testing upon written
16request of: the director of a program who certifies to the
17Chief Examiner of an official high school equivalency testing
18center that the applicant has completed a program of
19instruction provided by such agencies as the Job Corps, the
20Postal Service Academy, or an apprenticeship training program;
21an employer or program director for purposes of entry into
22apprenticeship programs; another state's department of
23education in order to meet regulations established by that
24department of education; or a post high school educational
25institution for purposes of admission, the Department of
26Financial and Professional Regulation for licensing purposes,



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1or the Armed Forces for induction purposes. The regional
2superintendent shall administer such testing, and the
3applicant shall be notified in writing that he or she is
4eligible to receive a high school equivalency certificate upon
5reaching age 17, provided he or she meets the standards
6established by the Illinois Community College Board.
7    Any test administered under this Section to an applicant
8who does not speak and understand English may at the discretion
9of the administering agency be given and answered in any
10language in which the test is printed. The regional
11superintendent of schools may waive any fees required by this
12Section in case of hardship. The regional superintendent of
13schools and the Illinois Community College Board shall waive
14any fees required by this Section for an applicant who meets
15all of the following criteria:
16        (1) The applicant qualifies as a homeless person,
17    child, or youth as defined in the Education for Homeless
18    Children Act.
19        (2) The applicant has not attained 25 years of age as
20    of the date of the scheduled test.
21        (3) The applicant can verify his or her status as a
22    homeless person, child, or youth. A homeless services
23    provider that is qualified to verify an individual's
24    housing status, as determined by the Illinois Community
25    College Board, and that has knowledge of the applicant's
26    housing status may verify the applicant's status for



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1    purposes of this subdivision (3).
2        (4) The applicant has completed a high school
3    equivalency preparation course through an Illinois
4    Community College Board-approved provider.
5        (5) The applicant is taking the test at a testing
6    center operated by a regional superintendent of schools or
7    the Cook County High School Equivalency Office.
8    In counties of over 3,000,000 population, a high school
9equivalency certificate shall contain the signatures of the
10Executive Director of the Illinois Community College Board and
11the superintendent, president, or other chief executive
12officer of the institution where high school equivalency
13testing instruction occurred and any other signatures
14authorized by the Illinois Community College Board.
15    The regional superintendent of schools shall furnish the
16Illinois Community College Board with any information that the
17Illinois Community College Board requests with regard to
18testing and certificates under this Section.
19(Source: P.A. 98-718, eff. 1-1-15; 98-719, eff. 1-1-15; 99-78,
20eff. 7-20-15.)