Residency standards for special education students are established in Article 14 of the School Code. These standards govern “in all cases where special education services and facilities are provided.” 105 ILCS 5/14-1.11b. The special education residency provisions of the School Code are as follows:
The resident district is the school district in which the parent or guardian, or both parent and guardian, of the student reside when:
- the parent has legal guardianship of the student and resides within Illinois; or
- an individual guardian has been appointed by the courts and resides within Illinois; or
- an Illinois public guardian has been appointed by the courts and resides either in the home of the parent or within the same district as the parent; or
- an Illinois court orders a residential placement but the parents retain any legal rights or guardianship and have not been subject to a termination of parental rights order. 105 ILCS 5/14-1.11
For Divorced Parents:
As far as residency determinations for special education students whose parents are divorced or separated, the School Code states:
In cases of divorced or separated parents, when only one parent has legal guardianship or custody, the district in which the parent having legal guardianship or custody resides is the residential district. When both parents retain legal guardianship or custody, the resident district is the district in which either parent who provides the student’s primary regular fixed night-time abode resides; provided, that the election of resident district may be made only one time per school year. Id.
If the parent or guardian resides outside of Illinois, the parent or guardian is responsible for making arrangements to pay the Illinois school district serving the child for the cost of the educational services provided to the student. Id.
The resident district is the school district in which the student resides when:
- the parent has legal guardianship but the location of the parent is unknown; or
- an individual guardian has been appointed but the location of the guardian is unknown; or
- the student is 18 years of age or older and no legal guardian has been appointed; or
- the student is legally an emancipated minor; or
- an Illinois public agency has legal guardianship and such agency or any court in this State has placed the student residentially outside of the school district in which the parent lives. 105 ILCS 5/14-1.
In this era of scarce resources, school districts are vigilant regarding residency. A number of districts employ retired police officers to investigate and monitor residency issues. This is not an issue schools take lightly.Share on Facebook