State law requires districts to implement community service education or service learning programs, or encourages and offers student incentives for participation (e.g., recognition programs or course credit).
Illinois Compiled Statutes 105-5-27-22.3. Volunteer service credit program.
(a) A school district may establish a volunteer service credit program that enables secondary school students to earn credit towards graduation through performance of community service. This community service may include participation in the organization of a high school or community blood drive or other blood donor recruitment campaign. Any program so established shall begin with students entering grade 9 in the 1993-1994 school year or later. The amount of credit given for program participation shall not exceed that given for completion of one semester of language arts, math, science or social studies. (b) Any community service performed as part of a course for which credit is given towards graduation shall not qualify under a volunteer service credit program. Any service for which a student is paid shall not qualify under a volunteer service credit program. Any community work assigned as a disciplinary measure shall not qualify under a volunteer service credit program. (c) School districts that establish volunteer service credit programs shall establish any necessary rules, regulations and procedures.
Illinois Compiled Statutes 105-60-10. Community Service Education Program
There is created the Community Service Education Program, administered by the State Board of Education, in cooperation with school districts. Participation in this program is voluntary. The following items may serve as best practices to be considered by school districts opting to implement the program under Section 25 of this Act [105 ILCS 60/25]: (1) The program contains provisions and Standard conducive to the establishment of community, business, and education partnerships that give use to lasting relationships between school districts and partners that are mutually beneficial. (2) The program provides greater community access to school facilities and programs to promote increased achievement by children. (3) The program makes school facilities available for citizen use. (4) The program organizes local residents to assess local conditions, set priorities, identify program needs, and participate in program planning and development. (5) The program identifies and utilizes resources within the community or those that impact on the community. (6) The program assists in the initiation of new and improved programs in an effort to improve opportunities for all residents of the community. (7) The program provides effective youth training programs and employment counseling in schools, as well as paid work experience linking the schools with the private sector. (8) The program provides student involvement in community service learning activities, organizations, and intergenerational programs. (9) The program provides volunteer programs to bring parents, business personnel, community agency representatives, retirees, and other students into the classroom as participants in the teaching of students. (10) The program provides supplemental or additional programs for junior high school and high school age youth that may consist of enrichment, individual, and supplemental activities, as well as recreational, cultural, and vocational programs. * (11) The program provides programs to meet the individual needs of all people who reside in the school district being served. Nothing set forth in items (7) through (11) shall be constituted as either requiring or permitting the Community Service Education Program to have any program or programs serving the same purpose or purposes as those elsewhere specifically provided for in the School Code. The Community Service Education Program shall avoid duplication of existing programs operated by other entities in whole or in part within a school district. The Community Service Education Program shall provide for the involvement of the residents of a school district in ascertaining the identity of local problems and in ascertaining the community resources available for dealing with these problems.
Illinois Compiled Statutes 105-60-25. Establishment of community service education program by school district.
A school district may establish and operate a community service education program that qualifies for a grant under Section 92 of this Act [105 ILCS 60/92] by complying with the provisions of this Act and any rules adopted by the State Board of Education under Section 500 of this Act.
Illinois Compiled Statutes 105-60-5. Policy.
Community service education programs educate students about the value of civic involvement through actual school-sponsored involvement in their communities. Students, citizens, civic groups, businesses, and community organizations benefit from community service education programs by developing strong partnerships that enhance the value of schools and quality of life in communities. Community service education programs build stronger schools, stronger communities, and a positive environment. In many communities, the school district is the economic engine that provides jobs, economic stability, and prosperity. Community service education programs enable more school districts and communities to prosper economically while promoting good citizenship. School districts that offer community service education programs enjoy a significant return on their investment. Hence, the policy of the State of Illinois is to support such programs by providing incentives to encourage school districts to offer community service education programs.
Illinois Compiled Statutes 105-60-500. Rules.
The State Board of Education may adopt any rules that are necessary to implement and administer this Act.
Illinois Compiled Statutes 105-60-60 Local input
Each school board that establishes a community service education program under Section 25 of this Act [105 ILCS 60/25] shall establish a process to obtain input into the development and operation of its community service education program by members who represent various service organizations, churches, public schools, units of local government, businesses and professions, public and private agencies serving youth, families, or senior citizens, municipal governments, townships, libraries, park, recreation, or forest preserve districts located in whole or in part within the school district, and any other group or groups participating in the school district’s community service education program.
Illinois Compiled Statutes 105-60-65 Director of Community Service Education
Each school district maintaining a community service education program established under Section 25 of this Act [105 ILCS 60/25] shall employ or appoint a Director of Community Service Education. The Director shall be responsible for all aspects of the school district’s community service education program. An individual employed solely as a Director of Community Service Education need not hold a teaching or administrative certificate from the State of Illinois.
Illinois Compiled Statutes 105-60-75 Non-duplication of programs
A school district that establishes a community service education program under Section 25 of this Act [105 ILCS 60/25] must strive to ensure that its community service education program does not duplicate services offered by other entities or school programs.
Illinois Compiled Statutes 105-60-80 Community service education consortiums
Any school district that opts to conduct a community service education program pursuant to the provisions of this Act may enter into an agreement with other school districts to form a consortium for the purpose of offering a consolidated community service education program.
Illinois Compiled Statutes 105-60-85 Partnership agreements
A school district community service education program established under Section 25 of this Act [105 ILCS 60/25] shall have the power to enter into agreements with any other public or private entity or entities for the furnishing of any component of its community service education program. These agreements may provide for payments from the school district’s community service education fund to other entities as contributions to the expenses of the program or programs covered by these agreements.
Illinois Compiled Statutes 105-60-90 Funding
A school district maintaining a community service education program established under Section 25 of this Act [105 ILCS 60/25] is authorized to receive money from the State, as grants that are subject to appropriation, and other public and private sources for the support of its program or any component thereof and to expend this money pursuant to the provisions of this Act, subject to the terms and conditions under which the money is received. A not-for-profit organization may be established in support of the program, in accordance with the General Not For Profit Corporation Act of 1986 [805 ILCS 105/101.01 et seq.], and may seek tax exemption for the organization from the Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Revenue. Subject to guidelines approved by the school board, the school district is also authorized to charge and collect fees from persons voluntarily participating in a specific community service education program. The school board shall also have the authority to designate funds to be used for community service education purposes.
Illinois Compiled Statutes 105-60-92 Grants
Subject to the availability of funds for the specific purpose of making grants for community service education, the State Board of Education is authorized to make grants to school districts operating community service education programs that meet the Standard set forth in this Act and any rules adopted by the State Board of Education.
Service Learning Resources
Document addresses service learning programs.