Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HJR0115
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Full Text of HJR0115  100th General Assembly




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2    WHEREAS, In 2014, the United States Department of Education
3and the United States Department of Justice issued guidance
4through the Dear Colleague Letter on the Nondiscriminatory
5Administration of School Discipline on January 8, 2014, to
6assist public schools with administering student discipline
7without discriminating on the basis of race, color, or national
8origin; and
9    WHEREAS, Every student is entitled to equal education
10opportunities regardless of race, color, or national origin;
12    WHEREAS, This guidance addresses the school-to-prison
13pipeline, a problematic trend in which students of color are
14disproportionately suspended, expelled, arrested, and exposed
15to law enforcement; and
16    WHEREAS, Under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964,
17states, school districts, and schools must not intentionally
18treat students differently nor implement policies or practices
19in providing educational resources that disproportionately
20affect students based on race, color, or national origin, as
21this discrimination is prohibited; and



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1    WHEREAS, According to U.S. Education Department data,
2research shows that racial disparities in school discipline
3contribute to adverse impacts on the student achievement gap,
4including lower grades, higher dropout rates, higher
5incarceration rates, and reduction of important instructional
6time due to exclusionary discipline; and
7    WHEREAS, Black female students in Illinois are more than
87.5 times more likely to have multiple out-of-school
9suspensions than white female students; and
10    WHEREAS, Latino students in Illinois are nearly 1.5 times
11more likely to have multiple out-of-school suspensions than
12white students; and
13    WHEREAS, Black students in Illinois are two times more
14likely to be referred to law enforcement by their schools than
15white students; and
16    WHEREAS, Higher rates of suspension are related to higher
17rates of future antisocial behaviors and involvement in the
18juvenile justice system; and
19    WHEREAS, Data from Chicago educators suggests only 20% of
20educators feel they have received "at least effective" training
21on restorative justice; and



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1    WHEREAS, In acknowledgement of said disparities, Illinois
2passed Senate Bill 100 in 2015 in recognition of the growing
3national and local movements focused on breaking down the
4school-to-prison pipeline and reducing exclusionary discipline
5practices; and
6    WHEREAS, Those schools and districts that have prioritized
7implementation of restorative practices as a result of Senate
8Bill 100 of the 99th General Assembly have seen significant
9reductions in suspensions, expulsions, and notifications; and
10    WHEREAS, In accordance with Title VI, data suggest via the
11U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Justice
12that this current guidance on how to identify, avoid, and
13remedy discriminatory discipline will assist schools in
14providing all students with equal educational opportunities;
16    WHEREAS, Equitable discipline policies are crucial to
17creating safe and welcoming school environments, improving a
18school's climate and culture, and ultimately increasing
19overall student engagement and achievement; and
20    WHEREAS, Given the aforementioned data and concerns,
21Illinois must reaffirm its commitment to dismantling the



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1school-to-prison pipeline and ensuring that we are educating
2and preparing all our young people to build a brighter future
3for themselves and our State; therefore, be it
6CONCURRING HEREIN, that we urge the U.S. Department of
7Education to actively sustain the school discipline guidance
8released by the Departments of Education and Justice in 2014,
9and the State of Illinois and Illinois State Board of Education
10to uphold the original school discipline guidance released by
11the Department of Education and Justice in 2014, regardless of
12the decision made by the U.S. Department of Education; and be
13it further
14    RESOLVED, That suitable copies of this resolution be
15delivered to United States Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos,
16Illinois State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, and
17Illinois State Board of Education Chairman James T. Meeks.