033023CM0307SPRINGFIELD – A new law will increase transparency between schools, students and parents regarding transfers to alternative schools thanks to support from State Senator Laura Murphy.

“Alternative schools are necessary for some students to thrive. These schools are designed to help educate those who need an extra push outside of traditional environments,” said Murphy (D-Des Plaines). “However, students and their parents are often left in the dark when it comes to the nature of the programs, or even when they can return to regular school.”

Alternative schools are designed to educate students who have not been successful in regular schools, due to either behavioral or discipline issues. Both the sending school and the alternative school hold meetings regarding the student and establish an alternative education plan for them. Murphy’s measure will ensure that students and their parents or guardians are invited to participate in the meetings.

Before the effective date of the student’s transfer, the parents or guardians must be provided with the specific nature of the curriculum, number of students in the school, available services, disciplinary policies, typical daily schedule and extracurricular activities, under Murphy’s measure.

In addition, a meeting will need to be held with the student's parent or guardian at least 30 days prior to the student’s planned return to regular schooling.

 “We want all of our students to flourish,” Murphy said. “Establishing expectations and keeping open lines of communication will help ensure that students and their parents can make choices that are best for the student.”

Senate Bill 183 was signed into law on Friday.