Illinois misses school payments, sends grant money

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WAND)- State education officials have flagged several Central Illinois school districts for their rates of suspension and expulsion.

According to preliminary numbers provided by the Illinois State Board of Education, Champaign CUSD 4, Danville CCSD 118, Decatur SD 61, Hoopeston Area CUSD 11, Meridian CUSD 101 and Springfield SD 186 all ranked in the to 20 percent of a measure of recorded discipline policies for three consecutive years.

In 2016, the General Assembly passed Senate Bill 100, a measure aimed to reduce discipline practices that take students out of class. The measure also required ISBE to collect district data on discipline practices that take students out of class. Districts that ranked in the to 20 percent of one measure for three consecutive years would have to develop plans to reduce those discipline rates or disproportionate disciplining of students.

Final numbers are due out in October, according to an ISBE spokesperson.

In a statement posted to Facebook Sunday, the Decatur Public School District wrote that district officials have already made some changes to discipline policies, including by ending Alternative Placement Rooms, instituting CARE, recovery and transition rooms, and revamping the district’s Alternative Education program.

“District leadership and the Board of Education understands that the community charges us with providing an excellent education for ALL students,” read the statement. “We also understand the community expects the District to provide a safe and orderly environment, a welcoming atmosphere free from the threat of physical harm which is conducive to teaching and learning for students to receive an excellent education.”