Sunday, July 10, 2016

Waiver deadline nears

In order for Illinois School Code waiver applications to be decided this fall, school districts generally must get them postmarked and mailed to the state by Aug. 12. Specifically, applications must be sent to the Illinois State Board of Education to be included in the fall 2016 waiver report that is to be submitted to the legislature by Oct. 1.

There are exceptions, however: Applications for modifications of the School Code, or for waivers or modifications of the state board’s administrative rules, are not subject to the Aug. 12 deadline. In all cases, however, the process for applying is the same, and approvals must be granted before the waivers can be implemented.

Waivers can be sought to modify state mandates and regulations if the school district shows it can meet the intent in a better way, but waivers are not allowed on special education, eligibility of voters in school elections, teacher tenure, or certification or seniority.

Shown are the most commonly listed topics among the 6,320 waiver requests the state
 has granted since waivers were first allowed in 1995. Just 658 were not approved.

Before starting the state waiver process, each applicant should carefully review requirements outlined in the “Overview for Waiver Process.”

Applications and instructions are available now. Questions can be directed to ISBE’s Rules and Waivers Division at (217) 782-5270 or email

For more information see this page on ISBE's website.