Illinois schools are now required to limit long-term suspensions and expulsions under a new law that also eliminates the use of zero-tolerance policies used to severely punish students for certain offenses.
The law that took effect last week is designed to reduce the number of days students are pulled from classrooms and encourage school administrators to use suspensions as a last resort.
"So it becomes a school system that says, 'What can we do to keep this student in an academic setting?'" said Sen. Kimberly Lightford, a Chicago Democrat who sponsored the legislation.
Illinois lawmakers passed the bill with overwhelming support last year. States have...