SB 2793 passed out of the Illinois Legislature on Friday. According to Voices of Youth in Chicago Education (VOYCE):
“SB 2793 is a landmark piece of legislation won by young people and allies from across the state of Illinois to address the overuse of exclusionary discipline.
This legislation is the FIRST OF ITS KIND in the nation and would require:
The public reporting of data on the issuance of out-of-school suspensions, expulsions, and removals to alternative settings in lieu of another disciplinary action for all publicly-funded schools in Illinois. The collected data would be disaggregated by race and ethnicity, gender, age, grade level, limited English proficiency, incident type, and discipline duration.
Illinois School Districts that are identified in the top 20% in the use of suspensions, expulsions or racial disproportionality would have to submit an improvement plan identifying the strategies the school district will implement to reduce the use of exclusionary disciplinary practices, racial disproportionality, or both.
Halima Ibrahim, a VOYCE student leader, said that SB 2793 is important for her because “the community should know what suspension and expulsion numbers, as well as racial disparities, are for each Illinois school district. If we know which districts need help and improvement, we can work to keep students safe and in school, instead of out in the streets.”
Some of you contributed to this victory by filing witness slips and contacting your legislators when asked. Thank you!
The following organizations led and supported this campaign.
VOYCE Member Organizations:
Southwest Organizing Project
Albany Park Neighborhood Council
Kenwood Oakland Community Organization
Logan Square Neighborhood Association
Action Now Institute
Brighton Park Neighborhood Council
Allies in the Campaign for Common Sense Discipline:
Attorney Jim Freeman
Illinois Safe Schools Alliance
Community Organizing on Family Issues
United Congress of Community and Religious Organizations
Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
Chicago Teachers Union
ACLU of Illinois
Chicago Freedom School
Community Renewal Society
Disciples for Christ Evangelistic Ministries
Inner City Muslim Action Network
Adler Institute on Public Safety and Social Justice
Korean Resource and Cultural Center
TARGET Area Development Corporation
This has been a banner year in school discipline data transparency advocacy in Illinois as the Chicago Student Safety Act Coalition successfully advocated for the Chicago Public Schools to publish and make accessible school discipline data for the first time ever this February.