Starting a Private School in Illinois


Regulations, Resources, & Support

Our team has curated the best resources and information available about starting a private school in Illinois. Enjoy!


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Regulations

We’ve curated the laws and regulations about starting a private school in Illinois.


Resources

What resources and associations are available to help new education entrepreneurs?


Starting a School Guide

See what else you need to know about starting a private school. From your curriculum to your marketing, and everything in-between.

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Illinois State Regulations


General Regulations


illinois-state

  • There are no accreditation or licensing requirements for schools, and registration/recognition are optional processes, but are recommended due to the additional benefits of being a recognized school.

  • The Illinois State Board of Education has assembled a page of detailed requirements for private schools.

  • Homeschooling is considered a form of private school in Illinois and does not require special reporting as long as students are receiving education at least equivalent to public education.

  • The US Office of Innovation & Improvement has assembled a summary of regulations for private schools operating in Illinois.

  • Illinois does not have specific insurance requirements for private schools.


State Funding Sources & Support

Illinois does not provide funding for private education, but does offer an Education Expense tax credit for qualified education expenses of K-12 students.


Curriculum Requirements

Among others, recognized nonpublic schools must provide instruction in English (except as otherwise permitted under the law), in language arts, mathematics, the biological physical and social sciences, the fine arts, and physical development and health education.


Teacher Certification & Hiring

Nonpublic teachers do not have to hold certifications but must have a bachelors degree or higher and must be evaluated every 2 years for job proficiency.

Food Services / Lunch

In Illinois, school lunch requirements, including funding for schools offering the National School Lunch Program, are managed by the Illinois State Board of Education.


Length of School Year

For registered and recognized schools, the length of the school year must be at least 176 days of student attendance, with at least five hours of instruction daily, or a total of 880 hours of instruction per school year.


Recordkeeping & Reports

Schools must provide the state with the number of immunized students, the number who haven’t complied, and the number claiming religious or health exemptions. They must also keep official records of student academic progress and are obligated to transfer them to any school students may transfer to.

Healthy & Safety Requirements

Students are required to have health exams and show proof of immunizations before enrolling in school. Schools must hold fire, severe weather, and bomb threat/active shooter drills each year.


Transportation

District school boards are required to provide transportation for nonpublic students. Additionally, the Chicago Transit Authority offers reduced fares to students, including nonpublic students.


Testing

There is no state policy for testing.

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Illinois State Resources


State & Regional Associations

Read the Ultimate Guide to Starting a Private School


We've put together one of the most comprehensive guides to starting a private school. Ready to open your school? Read our free guide!


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Guide Quick-Nav



Introduction to Starting a School

Introduction

We’ve developed these 10 topics to help you along the way. Take them all in at once, or start with the areas most relevant right now.


Creating Your School Identity

School Identity

There’s plenty you can do to develop your own brand, starting right from your personal ideals and goals for your school.


Creating Your School Curriculum

Curriculum

Our curriculum pages include ideas on where to go to find materials, and different associations and educational models you may want to consider.


Legal & Operating Requirements

Legal & Operating Requirements

You need to know the requirements at both the federal level and for your state. Here are the basic details for every state.


Introduction to Starting a School

Funding & Finance

Here we share ideas for possible funding sources, and ways you might be able to start with less than you thought necessary.


Creating Your School Identity

Business Plan & Budget

Having a plan for how you’ll operate and a budget to predict and allocate funds is critical for all businesses, schools included. We’ve pulled together resources here to help with both.


School Facilities

Facilities

What facilities are right for your school? We encourage new schools to get creative, and have compiled some considerations to take into account.


School Staffing

Staffing

How can you find and recruit the right talent for your school? What qualifications or certifications are required?


School Policies & Procedures

Policies & Procedures

Here we share ideas for possible funding sources, and ways you might be able to start with less than you thought necessary.


Marketing & Online Presence

Marketing & Online Presence

Having a plan for how you’ll operate and a budget to predict and allocate funds is critical for all businesses, schools included. We’ve pulled together resources here to help with both.


School Associations

Associations

What facilities are right for your school? We encourage new schools to get creative, and have compiled some considerations to take into account.