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State of Illinois - Governor Blagojevich 

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For Immediate Release
August 13, 2003

State Board of Education Grants Recognition to 674 Non-public Schools for 03-04 School Year

Final year for program, which has been eliminated by budget cuts

A total of 674 Illinois non-public schools which met required deadlines for making application have been granted “recognition” status for the 2003-04 school year by the Illinois State Board of Education – the last time such status will be granted because budget cuts have eliminated the program. ISBE today released the list of schools, after notifying the schools by mail.

The recognized non-public schools list can be accessed at

“Many non-public schools find this program valuable for a number of reasons and we regret the agency no longer is in a position to offer it,” said Robert E. Schiller, state superintendent of education. “But the budget cut eliminated our capacity to administer the program. We had no choice but to eliminate it,” he said.

In July, Governor Blagojevich used his line item veto authority to eliminate funds from the Illinois State Board of Education Budget, including a reduction of $1.2 million in the Accountability and Assessment area, which contained the non-public recognition program. Eliminating the program saves $344,000 in the education budget, ISBE officials said.

In May, ISBE had sent letters to all nonpublic schools in the state informing them that to be processed, their applications for recognition for the 03-04 school year must be sent to ISBE (schools in Chicago) or to the local Regional Office of Education (all other schools) no later than June 30th. All applications that met that deadline were processed before the Governor’s cuts were announced, and those schools will be notified of their status next week. Any application received after June 30 will not be processed because of the budget cut. The recognition program will shut down fully August 15, ISBE said.

ISBE recognition is sought by non-public schools for various reasons, including:

  • It gives assurance that the school's educational program has been approved by ISBE and meets at least minimum state requirement.
  • It is an aid/requirement to entrance in many colleges, universities, and other post-secondary institutions and training programs.
  • It is a requirement for membership in Illinois High School Association and student participation in Illinois Elementary School Association sanctioned sports, contests, tournaments, etc.
  • It is a requirement for acceptance/assignment to most military training programs.
  • It is a requirement for eligibility of students to sit for licensing examinations in fields covered under the Illinois Nursing Act.
  • Teaching in a recognized nonpublic school is often used to determine placement on the salary schedule when teachers transfer to other schools, both public and private, especially in other states.
  • Student transfers from recognized schools are expedited and credits can be generally accepted.

“The State board believes this is a crucial service, and it’s our intention to work with the General Assembly next year to restore fiscal support for it,” said Robert E. Schiller, State Superintendent of Education. “But providing this program is not required by the statutes and we no longer have the funding to perform the work,” he said.

Chicago schools that are recognized for 03-04 will receive their certificates from ISBE; all other school in the state will receive their certificate from the Regional Office of Education.


Illinois State Board of Education
100 North First Street
Springfield, IL 62777