Bill would bar public preschools from expelling students

Bill would bar public preschools from expelling students

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WEEK) -- -

A new bill introduced by a Maywood Democrat would prevent public preschools from expelling their pupils.

In a move to keep more at-risk kids in the classroom, Sen. Kimberly Lightford's bill would prohibit schools receiving public grants from the Illinois State Board of Education from expelling students. It would instead seek to shift them to programs that better fit their needs if they aren't succeeding in preschool. 

This comes after a report stating that children expelled from preschool are three times as likely to be removed from class than students in kindergarten through 12th grades. 

“Expulsion should always be a last resort, not the first option,” Lightford said. “This measure is a good start to ensuring the success of young children by focusing on their comprehensive development.”

Lightford said the bill also addresses the need for teachers to have more support for instructing children with mental and behavioral issues. 

The bill passed the Senate and now moves to the House. 

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