"The voice of nonpublic education in Illinois"
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Regulatory and Nonpublic School Policy Updates.


ICNS Legislative Involvement  


ICNS Members may access the ICNS Lobbyists' Legislative Report each week here - 6/3/2019


Each year, the Illinois General Assembly introduces over 5,000 bills and hundreds of amendments on a variety of issues including education. How do we know which/if any of those bills and amendments might or would adversely affect our nonpublic schools?  When bills come up that affect our schools, how will our schools coordinate a strategy and bring our voices to the Capitol for the best possible dialog with state legislators?

Illinois Coalition of Nonpublic Schools has members from many of the private and parochial schools in the State that work together to present a united voice on legislative issues that affect our schools.  Additionally and importantly, we have full-time lobbyists at the Capitol every day the General Assembly is in session to be the voices of our nonpublic school membership.  Our lobbyists review each bill and amendment introduced looking for any that might adversely affect or benefit our schools. They are ready to engage with legislators to bring our concerns on legislation and policy issues quickly and effectively to them.  


Ralph Rivera

Ralph is starting his seventh year as a state lobbyist for ICNS. Ralph has been lobbying at the Illinois State Capitol full-time for over 30 years. He has shared with us that protecting the rights of parents to educate their children in the way they choose, whether home schooling, religious or other private schooling, as well as public schooling is a priority with him.

Both Ralph and Molly are full-time lobbyists who will be at the State Capitol every hour and every day the General Assembly is in session. They will be reading the thousands of bills and amendments that will be introduced in 2019 looking to find any legislation that might adversely affect or help ICNS members. Each week, they will be making legislative reports to ICNS members as well as special alerts any time as needed.

Molly Malone

Molly graduated from Moody Bible Institute in Chicago with a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education, having completed student teaching at a Christian school in the Quad Cities. She is a strong advocate for private schooling. Molly has legislative and campaign experience working with Illinois legislators. She has worked with Ralph Rivera over the past two years on other legislative and campaign matters.


ICNS Featured Schools

Illinois State Board of Education Second
Annual Public/Nonpublic Conference

CAPE Action on
Title II-A

How the Tax Bill Affects Independent Schools

ISBE Update - Recognition in IWAS for 2017-2018

October 2017 Ombudsman Update

Invest in Kids Act of 2017

Tax Credit Scholarship Program Key Facts

Grant Accountability & Transparency Act (GATA)

Public Act 99-0922 Lead in Water Testing

As a member school of ICNS, click here for a memo providing initial guidance to schools in complying with PA99-0922, specifically testing for lead in water in Pre-K through grade 5 schools. Further guidance will be forthcoming in the near future.


2018 Blue Ribbon Schools Named
October 1, 2018

CAPE Outlook
June 2019

Treasury Dept. Amends Proposed Rule Affecting Scholarship Donations

Treasury Dept. Amends Proposed Rule Affecting Scholarship Donations

Looking for a nonpublic school?
This useful tool, provided by the National Center for Educational Statistics, allows a user to locate a private school throughout the USA using a variety of search criteria.


To learn more about benefits available to private schools students, teachers and other personnel, visit the U.S. Department of Education Office of Nonpublic Education


Click here for more information related to Nonpublic Education in Illinois

Federal Labor Law Posters
A school may obtain (at no cost) the required posters that reflect the federal laws governing employers. Click here to order your posters.

Link to CAPE’s  “Benefits of Private Education” brochure: http://www.capenet.org/benefits4.html

Illinois Nonpublic School Key Links:
Illinois State Board of Education

Federal Nonpublic Key Links:
U.S. Department of Education (USDOE)
Council for American Private Education (CAPE)
National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES)

Become a Member

Ad Hoc Committee for Illinois Home Education

Agudath Israel of America

Alternative Schools Network

Archdiocese of Chicago (Catholic)

Associated Talmud Torahs of Chicago

Association of Christian Schools International

Association of Illinois Montessori Schools

Catholic Conference of Illinois

Chicagoland Lutheran Educational Foundation (CLEF)

Christian Schools International

Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago (CIOGC)

Evangelical Lutheran - Wisconsin Synod

Illinois Association of Christian Schools

Illinois Lutheran Schools

Lake Michigan Association of Independent Schools

Lutheran Schools - Central Illinois District - LCMS

Lutheran Schools - Northern Illinois District - LCMS

Lutheran Schools - Southern Illinois District - LCMS

North Shore Montessori Schools

Seventh-Day Adventist Illinois Conference

Solomon Schechter Day Schools of Metropolitan Chicago


Member Schools


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Voice of America's Private Schools