Breen Passes Legislation that Expands Soaring Eagle Academy’s Ability to Transport Students to Off-Site Activities

When State Representative Peter Breen (R-Lombard) learned that Lombard’s Soaring Eagle Academy could not legally transport its K-8 students on its multi-purpose bus to off-site educational activities, he went to work on a legislative solution. Today Breen received unanimous House support of his bill that rectified the problem.

Soaring Eagle Academy is an Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE)-approved therapeutic day school that caters to the unique educational needs of autistic children. Current law limits its ability to transport students off-site to only those in 9th through 12th grade. HB 2040 would amend the Illinois Vehicle Code to allow Soaring Eagle to transport students in grades K-8.

“Not all learning takes place within the walls of schools, and students should have access to curriculum-related, vocational and recreational activities that compliment what they’re learning in their classrooms,” said Breen. “It was a pleasure to carry this legislation on behalf of an educational institution in my district that serves students from throughout northern Illinois.”

Soaring Eagle Academy serves students from 40 different municipalities through a curriculum that was developed through guidelines set by ISBE. The school is a not-for-profit institution that addresses the physical, intellectual, social and emotional needs of autistic students.

“Our school serves students with autism and flexibility is an essential component of our work,” said Deanna Tyrpak, Executive Director of Soaring Eagle Academy. Thanks to Representative Breen’s advocacy, we will now be able to use our multifunction school activity bus to transport our students on academically and socially relevant field trips. Being able to use our own bus will give us the flexibility, convenience, and cost saving benefit of frequent outings, which is such a positive experience for our students. Representative Breen is a true advocate for children with Autism and we are extremely grateful.”

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