Action Alert: March 4, 2022


March 4, 2022 | by Jerome Palliser

Urgent Action Needed: Support the Keeping Kids in Schools Act (HB 5096)

Access Living friends and allies: 

Today, we need your help in Illinois to fight school removals targeting students with disabilities. 

Across Illinois, students with disabilities are being sent home in the middle of the day for behavior issues.

These informal, undocumented school removals force students to miss vital services and create a significant burden for working parents. Advocates report that these “informal” suspensions occur most often with pre-K and elementary age children, disproportionately low-income children and children of color.

Support the Keeping Kids in School Act, HB 5096: 

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

How to Support HB 5096

HB 5096 is being heard in the Illinois House Education Committee at 9am Wednesday, March 9. Please take action to support this bill by filing a witness slip at this link, before then! Any individual can file a witness slip. When filling out the form:

  • For firm/business/agency: put your organization, or “self”  
  • For representation: put your organization, or “self”  
  • For description: select “HCA1” 
  • Mark yourself as a PROPONENT (this means you support it) 
  • For testimony: “record of appearance only” 

You can also send an email to your state legislators using this link. Every action helps.

Share Your Story: 

We also want to hear from Illinois parents of school-age children who have been repeatedly removed informally from school. If you would like to share your story, please contact our Education Policy Analyst, Frank Lally, at

Please share this action alert with concerned families and advocates. Thank you. 

Further reading on this issue:

In January, the National Disability Rights Network published “Out From The Shadows: Informal Removal of Children with Disabilities from Public Schools.” The report discusses how these removals are “off the books” and violate the rights of students with disabilities. You can view the report through this link.