Chicago Coalition for the Homeless

Help Us Stop House Bill 955

If enacted, this bill would hurt public school students and further squeeze Illinois families during a tough economic period.
 

Denise Smith
Under current Illinois law, 
if a student's family moves out of their school district during the academic year, the child is entitled to finish the school year in the same school, without charge.

But if HB 955 were to become law, 
students whose families move out of a district during the academic year would be required to transfer out of their school "at the end of the grading period" -- or be billed tuition! As proposed, this punitive law  would leave it up to individual districts to define what they consider to be the end of the grading period. School officials could decide that means leaving mid-semester, at the end of a grading quarter.

Current state law protects children and their families.
In this economy, there are many good reasons why a family finds it must move out of their school district before the school year is over, and sometimes with very little notice. In increasing numbers schools are reporting that families are moving due to job loss or a parent finding a new job, the need to relocate to lower cost family housing not found in the district, and because of eviction or foreclosure.

Children, including teens, need the academic stability of finishing the school year in the same classroom. Why? Because children typically lose four to six months' progress when they switch schools in the middle of the year. The negative impact of mid-year transfers is widely recognized among educators -- that's why student mobility rates are closely monitored in schools. Mid-year transfers typically hurt children already coping with big changes.

HB 955 was passed out of committee and could be voted on today in the House of Representatives!
Introduced by State Rep. Dan Reitz (D-Sparta), HB955 is on third reading.
How you can help:
Please call your  State Representative and express your opposition to HB 955 today.


Learn more:
  If you are interested in learning more about homelessness, please consider inviting the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless Speakers Bureau to talk with your congregation, civic group, or university.  Hearing the personal stories of our speakers is a meaningful way to educate our community about the causes and solutions to homelessness.  For more information please contact hannah@chicagohomeless.org.

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