Starting a Private School in Illinois
Regulations, Resources, & Support
Illinois State Regulations
There are no accreditation or licensing requirements for schools, and registration/recognition are optional processes, but are recommended.
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.
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.
District school boards are required to provide transportation for nonpublic students. Additionally, the Chicago Transit Authority offers reduced fares to students, including nonpublic students.
There is no state policy for testing.
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Illinois State Resources
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