J. Michael Smith, Esq.
Michael P. Farris, Esq.
Public School Access for Homeschoolers—A Legal Summary
Nonpublic school students may request to enroll part-time in public schools. The school board has the authority to accept such students into part-time attendance with restrictions, but is not required by law to do so. Illinois Compiled Statutes § 105 ILCS 5/10-20.24. Children with disabilities enrolled in non-public schools (including homeschools) have a right to enroll part-time in public school. 105 ILCS 5/14-6.01 (first paragraph).
Illinois Compiled Statutes § 105 ILCS 5/10-20.24
Sec. 10-20.24. Part-time attendance. To accept in part-time attendance in the regular education program of the district pupils enrolled in nonpublic schools if there is sufficient space in the public school desired to be attended. Request for attendance in the following school year must be submitted by the nonpublic school principal to the public school before May 1. Request may be made only to those public schools located in the district where the child attending the nonpublic school resides.
To accept, pursuant to the provisions of Section 14-6.01 [105 ILCS 5/14-6.01], in part-time attendance resident pupils of the types described in Sections 14-1.02 through 14-1.07 [105 ILCS 5/14-1.02 through 105 ILCS 5/14-1.07] who are enrolled in nonpublic schools.
Illinois Compiled Statutes § 105 ILCS 5/14-6.01
Powers and duties of school boards
§ 14-6.01. Powers and duties of school boards. School boards of one or more school districts establishing and maintaining any of the educational facilities described in this Article shall, in connection therewith, exercise similar powers and duties as are prescribed by law for the establishment, maintenance and management of other recognized educational facilities. Such school boards shall include only eligible children in the program and shall comply with all the requirements of this Article and all rules and regulations established by the State Board of Education. Such school boards shall accept in part-time attendance children with disabilities of the types described in Sections 14-1.02 through 14-1.07 who are enrolled in nonpublic schools. A request for part-time attendance must be submitted by a parent or guardian of the disabled child and may be made only to those public schools located in the district where the child attending the nonpublic school resides; however, nothing in this Section shall be construed as prohibiting an agreement between the district where the child resides and another public school district to provide special educational services if such an arrangement is deemed more convenient and economical. Special educational services shall be provided to such students as soon as possible after the identification, evaluation and placement procedures provided in Section 14-8.02, but no later than the beginning of the next school semester following the completion of such procedures. Transportation for students in part time attendance shall be provided only if required in the child’s individualized educational program on the basis of the child’s disabling condition or as the special education program location may require.