Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HB3143
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Full Text of HB3143  103rd General Assembly




State of Illinois
2023 and 2024


Introduced 2/17/2023, by Rep. Mary Beth Canty


105 ILCS 5/10-20.19a  from Ch. 122, par. 10-20.19a
105 ILCS 5/10-22.18  from Ch. 122, par. 10-22.18
105 ILCS 5/26-1  from Ch. 122, par. 26-1
105 ILCS 5/26-2  from Ch. 122, par. 26-2
105 ILCS 5/34-19  from Ch. 122, par. 34-19

    Amends the School Code. Lowers the compulsory school age from 6 to 5 years of age beginning with the 2023-2024 school year. Requires all school districts to establish kindergarten for the instruction of children who are 5 years of age or older. Effective immediately.

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HB3143LRB103 26997 RJT 53364 b

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 Sections
510-20.19a, 10-22.18, 26-1, 26-2, and 34-19 as follows:
6    (105 ILCS 5/10-20.19a)  (from Ch. 122, par. 10-20.19a)
7    Sec. 10-20.19a. Kindergartens. After July 1, 1970, to
8establish and maintain kindergartens for the instruction of
9children in accordance with rules and regulations prescribed
10by the State Board of Education. Such kindergartens may
11provide for either a 1/2 day or a full day of attendance for
12pupils enrolled therein.
13    This Section is repealed on July 1, 2023.
14(Source: P.A. 84-18.)
15    (105 ILCS 5/10-22.18)  (from Ch. 122, par. 10-22.18)
16    Sec. 10-22.18. Kindergartens. To establish kindergartens
17for the instruction of children between the ages of 4 and 6
18years, if in their judgment the public interest requires it,
19and to pay the necessary expenses thereof out of the school
20funds of the district. Upon petition of at least 50 parents or
21guardians of children between the ages of 4 and 6, residing
22within any school district and within one mile of the public



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1school where such kindergarten is proposed to be established,
2the board of directors shall, if funds are available,
3establish a kindergarten in connection with the public school
4designated in the petition and maintain it as long as the
5annual average daily attendance therein is not less than 15.
6The board may establish a kindergarten with half-day
7attendance or with full-day attendance. If the board
8establishes full-day kindergarten, it shall also establish
9half-day kindergarten. No one shall be employed to teach in a
10kindergarten who does not hold a license as provided by law.
11    Beginning with the 2023-2024 school year, each school
12district, including a school district organized under Article
1334, must establish kindergarten for the instruction of
14children who are 5 years of age or older.
15(Source: P.A. 102-894, eff. 5-20-22.)
16    (105 ILCS 5/26-1)  (from Ch. 122, par. 26-1)
17    Sec. 26-1. Compulsory school age; exemptions. Whoever has
18custody or control of any child (i) between the ages of 7 and
1917 years (unless the child has already graduated from high
20school) for school years before the 2014-2015 school year or
21(ii) between the ages of 6 (on or before September 1) and 17
22years (unless the child has already graduated from high
23school) for school years before the 2023-2024 beginning with
24the 2014-2015 school year or (ii) between the ages of 5 (on or
25before September 1) and 17 (unless the child has already



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1graduated from high school) beginning with the 2023-2024
2school year shall cause such child to attend some public
3school in the district wherein the child resides the entire
4time it is in session during the regular school term, except as
5provided in Section 10-19.1, and during a required summer
6school program established under Section 10-22.33B; provided,
7that the following children shall not be required to attend
8the public schools:
9        1. Any child attending a private or a parochial school
10    where children are taught the branches of education taught
11    to children of corresponding age and grade in the public
12    schools, and where the instruction of the child in the
13    branches of education is in the English language;
14        2. Any child who is physically or mentally unable to
15    attend school, such disability being certified to the
16    county or district truant officer by a competent physician
17    licensed in Illinois to practice medicine and surgery in
18    all its branches, a chiropractic physician licensed under
19    the Medical Practice Act of 1987, a licensed advanced
20    practice registered nurse, a licensed physician assistant,
21    or a Christian Science practitioner residing in this State
22    and listed in the Christian Science Journal; or who is
23    excused for temporary absence for cause by the principal
24    or teacher of the school which the child attends, with
25    absence for cause by illness being required to include the
26    mental or behavioral health of the child for up to 5 days



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1    for which the child need not provide a medical note, in
2    which case the child shall be given the opportunity to
3    make up any school work missed during the mental or
4    behavioral health absence and, after the second mental
5    health day used, may be referred to the appropriate school
6    support personnel; the exemptions in this paragraph (2) do
7    not apply to any female who is pregnant or the mother of
8    one or more children, except where a female is unable to
9    attend school due to a complication arising from her
10    pregnancy and the existence of such complication is
11    certified to the county or district truant officer by a
12    competent physician;
13        3. Any child necessarily and lawfully employed
14    according to the provisions of the law regulating child
15    labor may be excused from attendance at school by the
16    county superintendent of schools or the superintendent of
17    the public school which the child should be attending, on
18    certification of the facts by and the recommendation of
19    the school board of the public school district in which
20    the child resides. In districts having part-time
21    continuation schools, children so excused shall attend
22    such schools at least 8 hours each week;
23        4. Any child over 12 and under 14 years of age while in
24    attendance at confirmation classes;
25        5. Any child absent from a public school on a
26    particular day or days or at a particular time of day for



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1    the reason that he is unable to attend classes or to
2    participate in any examination, study, or work
3    requirements on a particular day or days or at a
4    particular time of day because of religious reasons,
5    including the observance of a religious holiday or
6    participation in religious instruction, or because the
7    tenets of his religion forbid secular activity on a
8    particular day or days or at a particular time of day. A
9    school board may require the parent or guardian of a child
10    who is to be excused from attending school because of
11    religious reasons to give notice, not exceeding 5 days, of
12    the child's absence to the school principal or other
13    school personnel. Any child excused from attending school
14    under this paragraph 5 shall not be required to submit a
15    written excuse for such absence after returning to school.
16    A district superintendent shall develop and distribute to
17    schools appropriate procedures regarding a student's
18    absence for religious reasons, how schools are notified of
19    a student's impending absence for religious reasons, and
20    the requirements of Section 26-2b of this Code;
21        6. Any child 16 years of age or older who (i) submits
22    to a school district evidence of necessary and lawful
23    employment pursuant to paragraph 3 of this Section and
24    (ii) is enrolled in a graduation incentives program
25    pursuant to Section 26-16 of this Code or an alternative
26    learning opportunities program established pursuant to



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1    Article 13B of this Code;
2        7. A child in any of grades 6 through 12 absent from a
3    public school on a particular day or days or at a
4    particular time of day for the purpose of sounding "Taps"
5    at a military honors funeral held in this State for a
6    deceased veteran. In order to be excused under this
7    paragraph 7, the student shall notify the school's
8    administration at least 2 days prior to the date of the
9    absence and shall provide the school's administration with
10    the date, time, and location of the military honors
11    funeral. The school's administration may waive this 2-day
12    notification requirement if the student did not receive at
13    least 2 days advance notice, but the student shall notify
14    the school's administration as soon as possible of the
15    absence. A student whose absence is excused under this
16    paragraph 7 shall be counted as if the student attended
17    school for purposes of calculating the average daily
18    attendance of students in the school district. A student
19    whose absence is excused under this paragraph 7 must be
20    allowed a reasonable time to make up school work missed
21    during the absence. If the student satisfactorily
22    completes the school work, the day of absence shall be
23    counted as a day of compulsory attendance and he or she may
24    not be penalized for that absence; and
25        8. Any child absent from a public school on a
26    particular day or days or at a particular time of day for



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1    the reason that his or her parent or legal guardian is an
2    active duty member of the uniformed services and has been
3    called to duty for, is on leave from, or has immediately
4    returned from deployment to a combat zone or
5    combat-support postings. Such a student shall be granted 5
6    days of excused absences in any school year and, at the
7    discretion of the school board, additional excused
8    absences to visit the student's parent or legal guardian
9    relative to such leave or deployment of the parent or
10    legal guardian. In the case of excused absences pursuant
11    to this paragraph 8, the student and parent or legal
12    guardian shall be responsible for obtaining assignments
13    from the student's teacher prior to any period of excused
14    absence and for ensuring that such assignments are
15    completed by the student prior to his or her return to
16    school from such period of excused absence.
17    Any child from a public middle school or high school,
18subject to guidelines established by the State Board of
19Education, shall be permitted by a school board one school
20day-long excused absence per school year for the child who is
21absent from school to engage in a civic event. The school board
22may require that the student provide reasonable advance notice
23of the intended absence to the appropriate school
24administrator and require that the student provide
25documentation of participation in a civic event to the
26appropriate school administrator.



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1(Source: P.A. 102-266, eff. 1-1-22; 102-321, eff. 1-1-22;
2102-406, eff. 8-19-21; 102-813, eff. 5-13-22; 102-981, eff.
4    (105 ILCS 5/26-2)  (from Ch. 122, par. 26-2)
5    Sec. 26-2. Enrolled pupils not of compulsory school age.
6    (a) For school years before the 2023-2024 school year, any
7Any person having custody or control of a child who is below
8the age of 6 years or is 17 years of age or above and who is
9enrolled in any of grades kindergarten through 12 in the
10public school shall cause the child to attend the public
11school in the district wherein he or she resides when it is in
12session during the regular school term, unless the child is
13excused under Section 26-1 of this Code. Beginning with the
142023-2024 school year, any person having custody or control of
15a child who is below the age of 5 years or is 17 years of age
16or above and who is enrolled in any of grades kindergarten
17through 12 in the public school shall cause the child to attend
18the public school in the district wherein he or she resides
19when it is in session during the regular school term, unless
20the child is excused under Section 26-1 of this Code.
21    (b) A school district shall deny reenrollment in its
22secondary schools to any child 19 years of age or above who has
23dropped out of school and who could not, because of age and
24lack of credits, attend classes during the normal school year
25and graduate before his or her twenty-first birthday. A



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1district may, however, enroll the child in a graduation
2incentives program under Section 26-16 of this Code or an
3alternative learning opportunities program established under
4Article 13B. No child shall be denied reenrollment for the
5above reasons unless the school district first offers the
6child due process as required in cases of expulsion under
7Section 10-22.6. If a child is denied reenrollment after being
8provided with due process, the school district must provide
9counseling to that child and must direct that child to
10alternative educational programs, including adult education
11programs, that lead to graduation or receipt of a State of
12Illinois High School Diploma.
13    (c) A school or school district may deny enrollment to a
14student 17 years of age or older for one semester for failure
15to meet minimum attendance standards if all of the following
16conditions are met:
17        (1) The student was absent without valid cause for 20%
18    or more of the attendance days in the semester immediately
19    prior to the current semester.
20        (2) The student and the student's parent or guardian
21    are given written notice warning that the student is
22    subject to denial from enrollment for one semester unless
23    the student is absent without valid cause less than 20% of
24    the attendance days in the current semester.
25        (3) The student's parent or guardian is provided with
26    the right to appeal the notice, as determined by the State



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1    Board of Education in accordance with due process.
2        (4) The student is provided with attendance
3    remediation services, including without limitation
4    assessment, counseling, and support services.
5        (5) The student is absent without valid cause for 20%
6    or more of the attendance days in the current semester.
7    A school or school district may not deny enrollment to a
8student (or reenrollment to a dropout) who is at least 17 years
9of age or older but below 19 years for more than one
10consecutive semester for failure to meet attendance standards.
11    (d) No child may be denied reenrollment under this Section
12in violation of the federal Individuals with Disabilities
13Education Act or the Americans with Disabilities Act.
14    (e) In this subsection (e), "reenrolled student" means a
15dropout who has reenrolled full-time in a public school. Each
16school district shall identify, track, and report on the
17educational progress and outcomes of reenrolled students as a
18subset of the district's required reporting on all
19enrollments. A reenrolled student who again drops out must not
20be counted again against a district's dropout rate performance
21measure. The State Board of Education shall set performance
22standards for programs serving reenrolled students.
23    (f) The State Board of Education shall adopt any rules
24necessary to implement the changes to this Section made by
25Public Act 93-803.
26(Source: P.A. 102-981, eff. 1-1-23; 102-1100, eff. 1-1-23;



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1revised 12-13-22.)
2    (105 ILCS 5/34-19)  (from Ch. 122, par. 34-19)
3    Sec. 34-19. By-laws, rules and regulations; business
4transacted at regular meetings; voting; records. The board
5shall, subject to the limitations in this Article, establish
6by-laws, rules and regulations, which shall have the force of
7ordinances, for the proper maintenance of a uniform system of
8discipline for both employees and pupils, and for the entire
9management of the schools, and may fix the school age of
10pupils, the minimum of which in kindergartens (which,
11beginning with the 2023-2024 school year, must be established
12under Section 10-22.18 for children 5 years of age or older)
13shall not be under 4 years, except that, based upon an
14assessment of the child's readiness, children who have
15attended a non-public preschool and continued their education
16at that school through kindergarten, were taught in
17kindergarten by an appropriately certified teacher, and will
18attain the age of 6 years on or before December 31 of the year
19of the 2009-2010 school term and each school term thereafter
20may attend first grade upon commencement of such term, and in
21grade schools shall not be under 6 years. It may expel, suspend
22or, subject to the limitations of all policies established or
23adopted under Section 10-22.6 or 14-8.05, otherwise discipline
24any pupil found guilty of gross disobedience, misconduct, or
25other violation of the by-laws, rules, and regulations,



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1including gross disobedience or misconduct perpetuated by
2electronic means. An expelled pupil may be immediately
3transferred to an alternative program in the manner provided
4in Article 13A or 13B of this Code. A pupil must not be denied
5transfer because of the expulsion, except in cases in which
6such transfer is deemed to cause a threat to the safety of
7students or staff in the alternative program. A pupil who is
8suspended in excess of 20 school days may be immediately
9transferred to an alternative program in the manner provided
10in Article 13A or 13B of this Code. A pupil must not be denied
11transfer because of the suspension, except in cases in which
12such transfer is deemed to cause a threat to the safety of
13students or staff in the alternative program. The bylaws,
14rules and regulations of the board shall be enacted, money
15shall be appropriated or expended, salaries shall be fixed or
16changed, and textbooks, electronic textbooks, and courses of
17instruction shall be adopted or changed only at the regular
18meetings of the board and by a vote of a majority of the full
19membership of the board; provided that notwithstanding any
20other provision of this Article or the School Code, neither
21the board or any local school council may purchase any
22textbook for use in any public school of the district from any
23textbook publisher that fails to furnish any computer
24diskettes as required under Section 28-21. Funds appropriated
25for textbook purchases must be available for electronic
26textbook purchases and the technological equipment necessary



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1to gain access to and use electronic textbooks at the local
2school council's discretion. The board shall be further
3encouraged to provide opportunities for public hearing and
4testimony before the adoption of bylaws, rules and
5regulations. Upon all propositions requiring for their
6adoption at least a majority of all the members of the board
7the yeas and nays shall be taken and reported. The by-laws,
8rules and regulations of the board shall not be repealed,
9amended or added to, except by a vote of 2/3 of the full
10membership of the board. The board shall keep a record of all
11its proceedings. Such records and all by-laws, rules and
12regulations, or parts thereof, may be proved by a copy thereof
13certified to be such by the secretary of the board, but if they
14are printed in book or pamphlet form which are purported to be
15published by authority of the board they need not be otherwise
16published and the book or pamphlet shall be received as
17evidence, without further proof, of the records, by-laws,
18rules and regulations, or any part thereof, as of the dates
19thereof as shown in such book or pamphlet, in all courts and
20places where judicial proceedings are had.
21    Notwithstanding any other provision in this Article or in
22the School Code, the board may delegate to the general
23superintendent or to the attorney the authorities granted to
24the board in the School Code, provided such delegation and
25appropriate oversight procedures are made pursuant to board
26by-laws, rules and regulations, adopted as herein provided,



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1except that the board may not delegate its authorities and
2responsibilities regarding (1) budget approval obligations;
3(2) rule-making functions; (3) desegregation obligations; (4)
4real estate acquisition, sale or lease in excess of 10 years as
5provided in Section 34-21; (5) the levy of taxes; or (6) any
6mandates imposed upon the board by "An Act in relation to
7school reform in cities over 500,000, amending Acts herein
8named", approved December 12, 1988 (P.A. 85-1418).
9(Source: P.A. 99-456, eff. 9-15-16.)
10    Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon
11becoming law.