On Wednesday, April 6th, the Illinois Network of Charter Schools hosted its annual Lobby Day. We rallied together at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago before heading to the State Capitol to advocate for quality school options on behalf of the 64,000 charter school families in the state. More than 600 charter public school parents and supporters traveled to Springfield to meet with their elected officials, tell their stories, and urge state leadership to pass sound charter legislation.
We met with dozens of elected officials, including caucus leaders, committee chairs, and Governor Rauner. These parents’ voices had an immediate impact. The day after Lobby Day, we gained seven new sponsors for our charter accountability and renewal term bill.
To watch a recap of Lobby Day, please click the video below.
“It is you making the loud-and-clear statement that you support your freedom to choose the best schools for your sons and daughters and that should be unbound by zip codes or attendance maps that seek to divide our city by class and by race.”
–Demetrius David, Director of Recruitment and Teacher at Catalyst Maria Charter School
Alderman Walter Burnett Jr. also addressed the crowd.
Excited to be heading to Springfield, charter school parents model their new t-shirts.
INCS hosted a second rally in the Capitol Rotunda, where parents and a student shared their charter school experiences and how charter schools have changed their lives. A number of elected officials also addressed the crowd, including Representative Thaddeus Jones, Senator Patricia Van Pelt, Representative John Anthony, and Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno.
Hundreds of charter school parents from various networks and schools advocating on behalf of high-quality school options in the Capitol Rotunda
“It’s an insult to our human rights that we are to send our children to places where they just aren’t learning. There is nothing wrong with our kids. Rather there’s something wrong with a system that continues to send kids to the same school to get the same results over and over again.”
— Senator Patricia Van Pelt
“I’m here today in support of all of our schools, to ask you leaders to provide more money so that all of us kids can get a better education. ”
–Jordana Shama, 4th grader from UCSN Roberto Clemente
INCS Lobby Day attendees also met with their elected officials to discuss their charter school experiences and challenges facing the charter school community.
Senator Iris Martinez posed for a photograph after speaking with parents.
Charter school parents with Governor Bruce Rauner
INCS would like to thank everyone who attended this year’s Lobby Day for their commitment to ensuring better, high-quality school options for ALL students in Illinois.
A special thank you to the schools who joined us: ASPIRA, Inc. of Illinois, Catalyst Schools, Concept Schools, Chicago International Charter Schools, Frazier Preparatory Academy, LEARN Charter School Network, KIPP Chicago Public Charter Schools, Legal Prep Charter Academy, Noble Network of Charter Schools, Passages Charter School, Perspectives Charter Schools, Rowe Elementary School, Springfield Ball Charter School, The Montessori School of Englewood, UChicago Charter Schools, UCSN Schools, and Young Women’s Leadership Charter School
You can view Lobby Day media coverage through the following links.
WBBM Radio (audio)