ISBE changes recognition status for private schools

The Illinois State Board of Education quietly updated the recognition status of eight nonpublic schools last week, moving them from “non recognized” to “on probation.”

The change comes after calls from Republican members of the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR) to bring amended rules to the panel that afford due process to nonpublic schools before removal of recognition takes place.

A court ruling out of Kendall County last week supports a recent assertion by the Republican members of JCAR, who continue to fight for answers and local control for both public and private schools across the state.

The ruling by Kendall County Judge Stephen Krentz, which ordered ISBE to temporarily reinstate Parkview Christian Academy’s state recognition, comes as schools across Illinois are losing state recognition for implementing different rules than those under the Governor’s Executive Orders.

In the case of Parkview Christian Academy, which operates two campuses in Yorkville, the schools’ official recognition was stripped on the same day it received notification of non-compliance with the Governor’s mask mandate. Loss of state recognition leads to consequences such as the revocation of students’ ability to participate in the Invest in Kids scholarship program and the suspension of a school’s ability to participate in Illinois High School Association and Illinois Elementary School Association sanctioned sports, among others.

JCAR’s next meeting is set for Oct. 19.

Dave Syverson

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