Access Living building information and COVID-19 visitor protocols

The Keeping Kids in Schools Act - HB 5096

 

Informal, Undocumented School Removals Hurt Students with Disabilities and Their Families

 

Frank Lally

Policy Analyst – Education

flally@accessliving.org

(312) 640-2134

Across Illinois, parents of students with disabilities are being asked to pick up their children in the middle of the day for behavior issues.

These informal, undocumented school removals result in students missing vital services. They also create a significant burden for working parents.

HB 5096 aims to reduce classroom removals by requiring documentation for each removal and triggering a reassessment of a student’s Individualized Education Plan (IEP) if removals become frequent.  

Furthermore, a national report has recorded the damage. The National Disability Rights Network recently published “Out From The Shadows: Informal Removal of Children with Disabilities from Public Schools.” You can view the report through this link.   

Why Are School Removals an Issue?  

Constant Removals Create a Serious Burden on Families. Some families report being called to pick up their student several times a week! Parents report losing their jobs because they are called so often to leave work. Then they are denied unemployment benefits, despite having no option but to pick up their child.  

No Records are Kept. Informal removals are not recorded, meaning that parents cannot use constant removals as evidence to update services provided in their student’s Individualized Education Plan. 

Removal Prevents Children from Receiving Education and Other Essential Services.

The IDEA is intended to provide disabled children with appropriate special education services so that they can learn in school with their peers without disabilities. If a child is sent home, the child not only loses educational services, but also loses critical access to free or reduced-price nutrition and health care.  

Informal Removal Hurts Minority and Low-Income Students.

Advocates report that these “informal” suspensions occur most often with pre-K and elementary age children, disproportionately low-income children and children of color.  

What will HB 5096 do?  

  1. Requires that for each removal, the school must provide the parent or guardian with written documentation. This documentation shall be included in the student’s temporary record. 
  1. Clarifies that each partial or full day of removal for a student with an IEP shall conform to the provisions of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA): if a student is removed from school for ten days during a single school year, the school must convene a meeting to review the student’s needs and IEP services.  

Supporters

Access Living 

Children’s Law Group 

Civitas ChildLaw Center at Loyola University Chicago School of Law 

Equip for Equality 

Hartlieb & Horste Special Education Attorneys 

Illinois Assistive Technology Program 

Learning Disabilities Association of Illinois 

Legal Council for Health Justice 

LIFE Center for Independent Living 

Matt Cohen & Associates 

Raise Your Hand for Illinois Public Education 

RAMP Center for Independent Living

Stand for Children  

Start Early: Champions for Early Learning 

What You Can Do to Support HB 5096


If you are a parent of a student with a disability and are experiencing informal school removals, please contact Frank Lally at flally@accessliving.org or (312) 640-2134.