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(105 ILCS 5/26-16)
Graduation incentives program.
(a) The General Assembly finds that it is critical to provide options for children to succeed in school. The purpose of this Section is to provide incentives for and encourage all Illinois students who have experienced or are experiencing difficulty in the traditional education system to enroll in alternative programs.
(b) Any student who is below the age of 20 years is eligible to enroll in a graduation incentives program if he or she:
(1) is considered a dropout pursuant to Section
(2) has been suspended or expelled pursuant to
Section 10-22.6 or 34-19 of this Code;
(3) is pregnant or is a parent;
(4) has been assessed as chemically dependent; or
(5) is enrolled in a bilingual education or LEP
(c) The following programs qualify as graduation incentives programs for students meeting the criteria established in this Section:
(1) Any public elementary or secondary education
graduation incentives program established by a school district or by a regional office of education.
(2) Any alternative learning opportunities program
established pursuant to Article 13B of this Code.
(3) Vocational or job training courses approved by
the State Superintendent of Education that are available through the Illinois public community college system. Students may apply for reimbursement of 50% of tuition costs for one course per semester or a maximum of 3 courses per school year. Subject to available funds, students may apply for reimbursement of up to 100% of tuition costs upon a showing of employment within 6 months after completion of a vocational or job training program. The qualifications for reimbursement shall be established by the State Superintendent of Education by rule.
(4) Job and career programs approved by the State
Superintendent of Education that are available through Illinois-accredited private business and vocational schools. Subject to available funds, pupils may apply for reimbursement of up to 100% of tuition costs upon a showing of employment within 6 months after completion of a job or career program. The State Superintendent of Education shall establish, by rule, the qualifications for reimbursement, criteria for determining reimbursement amounts, and limits on reimbursement.
(5) Adult education courses that offer preparation
for high school equivalency testing.
(d) Graduation incentives programs established by school districts are entitled to claim general State aid and evidence-based funding, subject to Sections 13B-50, 13B-50.5, and 13B-50.10 of this Code. Graduation incentives programs operated by regional offices of education are entitled to receive general State aid and evidence-based funding at the foundation level of support per pupil enrolled. A school district must ensure that its graduation incentives program receives supplemental general State aid, transportation reimbursements, and special education resources, if appropriate, for students enrolled in the program.
(Source: P.A. 100-465, eff. 8-31-17.)