ILLINOIS TRUANCY LAW

Illinois Truancy Definition

  

Illinois Truancy Definition: A truant is defined as any child subjected to compulsory schooling and who is absent from school unexcused. Absences that are excused are determined by the school board. A Chronic or Habitual Truant is a school-age child who is absent without valid causes for 5% out of 180 consecutive days. 


  • Class C Misdemeanor- To induce or cause a child to miss more than three consecutive days or knowingly employ the child (age 16 or older) or harbor them. 
  • If an Illinois parent is found guilty, he or she could face up to 30 days in Jail and a $1,500 fine. 
  • Children between 6 and 17 must attend school. 
  • Can’t miss any more than 5% of the 180-day school year (9 unexcused days). 
  • Law only applies if you don’t have a valid excuse such as: 

a) Illness

b) Family emergency

c) Death in the family

d) Religious observance or 

e) Other reason permitted by the school district. 

  • You can be charged even if you aren’t the parent or guardian. 
  • School districts are required to send a notice that a child must attend school without missing a day for the remainder of the school year. 
  • If after three notices, a student still misses days, the family can be subject to a truancy hearing and eventually criminal charges. 
  • The Proposed Legislation also includes penalties for students labeled “Truant”. 
  •  Such Penalties can Include: 

a. Community Service Work 

b.  Mandatory counseling 

c.  Fines of up to $100 per day for each unexcused absence. 

d.  Loss of Driving privileges/ or Learners permit until age 18. 

IL LAW LOWERS REQUIRED SCHOOL AGE TO 6yrs Old

Governor Quinn signs anti-truancy measure that changed compulsory attendance age to 6 years old from 7 years old starting in the Fall of 2014.


SCHOOLS (105 ILCS 5/) School Code.

  

(105 ILCS 5/26-2a) (from Ch. 122, par. 26-2a) 

Sec. 26-2a. A "truant" is defined as a child subject to compulsory school attendance and who is absent without valid cause from such attendance for a school day or portion thereof. 

"Valid cause" for absence shall be illness, observance of a religious holiday, death in the immediate family, family emergency, and shall include such other situations beyond the control of the student as determined by the board of education in each district, or such other circumstances which cause reasonable concern to the parent for the safety or health of the student. 


"Chronic or habitual truant" shall be defined as a child who is subject to compulsory school attendance and who is absent without valid cause from such attendance for 5% or more of the previous 180 regular attendance days. 

"Truant minor" is defined as a chronic truant to whom supportive services, including prevention, diagnostic, intervention and remedial services, alternative programs and other school and community resources have been provided and have failed to result in the cessation of chronic truancy, or have been offered and refused. 

A "dropout" is defined as any child enrolled in grades 9 through 12 whose name has been removed from the district enrollment roster for any reason other than the student's death, extended illness, removal for medical noncompliance, expulsion, aging out, graduation, or completion of a program of studies and who has not transferred to another public or private school and is not known to be home-schooled by his or her parents or guardians or continuing school in another country. 

"Religion" for the purposes of this Article, includes all aspects of religious observance and practice, as well as belief. (Source: P.A. 96-1423, eff. 8-3-10; 97-218, eff. 7-28-11.)


  

(105 ILCS 5/26-2b) (from Ch. 122, par. 26-2b) 

Sec. 26-2b. Any child enrolled in a public school who is unable, because of the observance of a religious holiday, to attend classes on a particular day or days or at a particular time of day shall be excused from any examination or any study or work assignments on such particular day or days or at such particular time of day. It shall be the responsibility of the teachers and of the administrative officials of each public school to make available to each child who is absent from school because of the observance of a religious holiday an equivalent opportunity to make up any examination, study or work requirements which he has missed because of such absence on any particular day or days or at any particular time of day. No special fees of any kind shall be charged to the child for making available to such child such equivalent opportunity. No adverse or prejudicial effects shall result to any child because of his availing himself of the provisions of this Section. 

The provisions of this Section shall apply only if the rules and regulations of the school board promulgated pursuant to paragraph 5 of Section 26-1 have been complied with. (Source: P.A. 84-212.)


  

(105 ILCS 5/26-5) (from Ch. 122, par. 26-5)

Sec. 26-5. Duties of truant officers. The truant officer of the school district, whenever notified by the Superintendent, teacher, or other person of violations of this Article, or the county truant officer, when notified by the County Superintendent, shall investigate all cases of truancy or non-attendance at school in their respective jurisdictions, and if the children complained of are not exempt under the provisions of this Article, the truant officer shall proceed as is provided in this Article. The county truant officer, within the county and the district truant officers, within their respective districts, shall in the exercise of their duties be conservators of the peace and shall keep the same, suppress riots, routs, affray, fighting, breaches of the peace, and prevent crime; and may arrest offenders on view and cause them to be brought before proper officials for trial or examination. (Source: Laws 1961, p. 31.)


  

(105 ILCS 5/26-6) (from Ch. 122, par. 26-6) 

Sec. 26-6. List and reports in districts employing truant officers. In school districts which employ truant officers the clerk or secretary of the school board shall at the beginning of each school year furnish a copy of the last school census to the superintendent of schools (or principal teacher) in the district, together with the names and addresses of the truant officers in the district, and the superintendent, (or principal teacher) shall compare the census list with the enrollment of the school or schools and, from time to time, report to the proper truant officers the names and addresses of persons having custody or control of children included under the provisions of this Article who are truant or who are chronic or habitual truants for whom supportive services and other school resources have failed to correct the truant behavior and who are not in regular attendance at public schools and also the names of persons having custody or control of children who are not in regular attendance at school and whose names are not included in the census list. (Source: P.A. 80-908.)


  

(105 ILCS 5/26-7) (from Ch. 122, par. 26-7) 

Sec. 26-7. Notice to custodian-Notice of non-compliance. If any person fails to send any child under his custody or control to some lawful school, the truant officer or, in a school district that does not have a truant officer, the regional superintendent of schools or his or her designee shall, as soon as practicable after he is notified thereof, give notice in person or by mail to such person that such child shall be present at the proper public school on the day following the receipt of such notice. The notice shall state the date that attendance at school must begin and that such attendance must be continuous and consecutive in the district during the remainder of the school year. The truant officer or, in a school district that does not have a truant officer, the regional superintendent of schools or his or her designee shall at the same time that such notice is given notify the teacher or superintendent of the proper public school thereof and the teacher or superintendent shall notify the truant officer or regional superintendent of schools of any non-compliance therewith. (Source: P.A. 93-858, eff. 1-1-05.)


  

(105 ILCS 5/26-8) (from Ch. 122, par. 26-8) 

Sec. 26-8. Determination as to compliance - Complaint in circuit court. A truant officer or, in a school district that does not have a truant officer, the regional superintendent of schools or his or her designee, after giving the notice provided in Section 26-7, shall determine whether the notice has been complied with. If 3 notices have been given and the notices have not been complied with, and if the persons having custody or control have knowingly and willfully permitted the truant behavior to continue, the regional superintendent of schools, or his or her designee, of the school district where the child resides shall conduct a truancy hearing. If the regional superintendent determines as a result of the hearing that the child is truant, the regional superintendent shall, if age appropriate at the discretion of the regional superintendent, require the student to complete 20 to 40 hours of community service over a period of 90 days. If the truancy persists, the regional superintendent shall (i) make complaint against the persons having custody or control to the state's attorney or in the circuit court in the county where such person resides for failure to comply with the provisions of this Article or (ii) conduct truancy mediation and encourage the student to enroll in a graduation incentives program under Section 26-16 of this Code. If, however, after giving the notice provided in Section 26-7 the truant behavior has continued, and the child is beyond the control of the parents, guardians or custodians, a truancy petition shall be filed under the provisions of Article III of the Juvenile Court Act of 1987. 

(Source: P.A. 93-858, eff. 1-1-05; 93-1079, eff. 1-21-05.)


  

(105 ILCS 5/26-8a) (from Ch. 122, par. 26-8a) 

Sec. 26-8a. The petition for court action shall include the name of the truant minor, the names and addresses of persons having custody or control of the student, the dates of the truant behavior, the dates and nature of contacts or conferences with the student and the persons having custody or control of the student, and the nature of the supportive services, alternative programs and other school resources the school district provided to that child in an effort to correct that child's truant behavior. 

(Source: P.A. 80-908.)


  

(105 ILCS 5/26-8b) (from Ch. 122, par. 26-8b) 

Sec. 26-8b. When a petition is filed, it shall be set for an adjudicatory hearing within 10 days and acted upon within 30 days, subject to the provisions of the Juvenile Court Act or the Juvenile Court Act of 1987 if filed thereunder.

(Source: P.A. 85-1209.)


  

(105 ILCS 5/26-9) (from Ch. 122, par. 26-9) 

Sec. 26-9. School officers and teachers to assist truant officers. School officers, superintendents, teachers or other persons shall render such assistance and furnish such information as they have to aid truant officers in the performance of their duties. 

(Source: Laws 1961, p. 31.)


  

(105 ILCS 5/26-10) (from Ch. 122, par. 26-10) 

Sec. 26-10. Fine for noncompliance.) Any person having custody or control of a child subject to the provisions of this Article to whom notice has been given of the child's truancy and who knowingly and willfully permits such a child to persist in his truancy within that school year, upon conviction thereof shall be guilty of a Class C misdemeanor and shall be subject to not more than 30 days imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $500. (Source: P.A. 80-908.)


  

(105 ILCS 5/26-11) (from Ch. 122, par. 26-11) 

Sec. 26-11. Punishment for certain offenses. Any person who induces or attempts to induce any child to be absent from school unlawfully, or who knowingly employs or harbors, while school is in session, any child absent unlawfully from school for 3 consecutive school days, is guilty of a Class C misdemeanor. 

(Source: P.A. 77-2267.)


  

(105 ILCS 5/26-12) (from Ch. 122, par. 26-12) 

Sec. 26-12. Punitive action. No punitive action including out of school suspensions, expulsions or court action, shall be taken against chronic truants for such truancy unless available supportive services and other school resources have been provided to the student. 

(Source: P.A. 85-234.)


  

(105 ILCS 5/26-13) (from Ch. 122, par. 26-13) 

Sec. 26-13. Absenteeism and truancy policies. School districts shall adopt policies, consistent with rules adopted by the State Board of Education, which identify the appropriate supportive services and available resources which are provided for truants and chronic truants. 

(Source: P.A. 84-1420.)


  

(105 ILCS 5/26-14) (from Ch. 122, par. 26-14) 

Sec. 26-14. Truancy programs for dropouts. Any dropout, as defined in Section 26-2a, who is 17 years of age may apply to a school district for status as a truant, and the school district shall permit such person to participate in the district's various programs and resources for truants. At the time of the person's application, the district may request documentation of his dropout status for the previous 6 months. 

(Source: P.A. 93-858, eff. 1-1-05.)


  

(105 ILCS 5/26-15) (from Ch. 122, par. 26-15) 

Sec. 26-15. Truant minors. When a regional superintendent has reason to believe that a pupil is a truant minor as defined in Section 26-2a, the regional superintendent may report such pupil under the provisions of the Juvenile Court Act. 

(Source: P.A. 85-1209.)