The Campaign for Common Sense Discipline

VOYCE is the convening organization of The Campaign for Common Sense Discipline, which is leading efforts to pass the Safety and Equity in Education Act (SB 100 & SB 2793). The legislation seeks to curb the devastating impact of exclusionary discipline on students across Illinois, especially those who are disproportionately affected by such practices: students of color, students with disabilities, LGBT students, and English Language Learner students.

Don’t miss the latest news on our groundbreaking victory; SB 100 passed out of the Illinois legislature! SB 100 is one of the most aggresive and comprehensive bills to address  the “School-to-Prison Pipeline”. To learn more, click here.

In the spring of 2014, SB 2793 was passed and signed into law. To learn more about SB 2793, click here.
In the spring of 20015, SB 100 was passed out of the IL legislature. SB 100 is currently awaiting the Governor’s signature. To learn more about SB 100, click here.

The Issue

Original recent research into state records has shown that across Illinois, schools continue to overuse out-of-school suspensions, expulsions, and school-based arrests. Based on the most recent available data, there were over 272,000 out-of-school suspensions of Illinois students, more than 2,400 expulsions, and more than 10,000 arrests in just one school year. As a result, Illinois students are losing over one million instructional days per year. Most of these disciplinary actions and justice-system interventions were in response to minor offenses that did not pose a threat to school safety. To view the number of out of school suspensions in Illinois for the 2011-2012 school year, click here.

The research is clear: these extreme disciplinary practices have not made schools safer or improved educational quality, but they have been deeply harmful to students, families, schools, and the entire state. The overuse of exclusionary school discipline measures is a problem at all publicly-funded Illinois schools. A lack of scrutiny and accountability has led to the development of damaging disciplinary policies. To review our key findings, click here.

The Legislation

SB 100: Fixing School Discipline to Improve School Safety, Raise Academic Achievement, and Save Taxpayer Dollars

SB 100 as Amended:
  • Prohibits zero tolerance policies unless required by Federal Law or School Code
  • Limits long-term out of schools suspensions, expulsions & alternative disciplinary placements
  • Prohibits all disciplinary fines & fees
  • Holds traditional public schools and charter schools to the same school discipline standards
  • Promotes proven disciplinary alternatives;
  • Will take effect September 15, 2016 in order to allow districts sufficient time to develop, review and implement new policies and procedures
SB 100 as Amended Will Still Allow:
  • Local control and discretion for individual students
  • In-school suspensions as a way to discipline students while allowing them to stay on track to graduate
  • The use of exclusionary discipline under certain conditions
  • Schools and administrators the ability to utilize local law enforcement at their discretion

To learn more about SB 100, click here.

SB 2793: Improving School Discipline Data to Make Schools Safer, Raise Academic Achievement, and Save Tax Payer Dollars

SB 2793 will help identify specific problems and promote targeted solutions by:

  • Improving public understanding of school discipline issues by requiring the public recording of data already collected on the use of out-of-school suspensions, expulsions, removals to alternative settings, and student retention;
  • Requiring districts to report data to the state on the issuance of school-based arrests and criminal citations. This is already mandated by the U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights;
  • Requiring districts with the highest rate of student exclusion, law enforcement investment and racial inequity in discipline responses to submit improvement plans to the Illinois State Board of Education.

To learn more about SB 2793, click here.

School Discipline Alternatives

School districts around the country already use proven, developmentally appropriate disciplinary alternatives that improve school safety, boost student attendance, raise academic achievement, and save taxpayer dollars. To learn about what other states are doing, click here.

The Campaign for Common Sense Discipline is composed of the following organizations:

  • Action Now Institute
  • ACLU of Illinois
  • Alternatives, Inc.
  • Blocks Together
  • Brighton Park Neighborhood Council
  • Chicago Freedom School
  • Communities United (formerly Albany Park Neighborhood Council)
  • Enlace Chicago
  • Illinois Safe Schools Alliance
  • Kenwood Oakland Community Organization
  • Korean Resource and Cultural Center
  • Logan Square Neighborhood Association
  • ONE Northside
  • Project NIA
  • SouthWest Organizing Project
  • TARGET Area Development Corporation
  • Voices of Youth in Chicago Education

For more information on the Campaign for Common Sense Discipline or SB 100, please contact Jose Sanchez, at (773) 827-6324 or