INCS News

Illinois Charter School Families Bring Their Voices to Washington, D.C.

INCS joined nearly 1,000 charter school parents and champions from around the country in Washington, D.C. to fight for the future of charter public schools. During this National Charter Schools Week, these charter school advocates were voicing their dissent against new regulations proposed by the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) for the Charter Schools Program…
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Teacher Appreciation Week: The Power of Teacher Advocacy

This Teacher Appreciation Week, INCS is proud to shoutout the 2022 Teacher Leadership Cohort (TLC) for its dedication to making change in their communities. This nine-month fellowship equips teachers with the experiences, knowledge, and skills to support them to speak out on behalf of their students, schools, and themselves.  The voice of teachers is sorely…
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INCS President (and Former Teacher) Andrew Broy’s Message for Teacher Appreciation Week

Today is the first day of Teacher Appreciation Week, but I think we can all agree that our appreciation, gratitude, and support for our teachers should not be limited to one week per year. Many of you likely do not know that I began my career as a high school English teacher in Franklin County…
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Release: IL Charters Secure First Ever State Facilities Funding

Illinois Charter Public Schools Secure $35 Million in First Ever State Funding Allocation for Charter Schools’ Facilities Costs The new state funding stream will address longstanding school facilities inequities that impact students across the state in historically underserved communities.   Chicago, Ill. –The Illinois charter public school community worked alongside champions in the state legislature to…
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Letter from INCS President Andrew Broy to Department of Education

On behalf of the 64,000 Illinois public school students educated in our member charter public schools, Andrew Broy wrote a letter to strongly oppose the Department of Education’s proposed new rules for the Charter Schools Program (CSP). Please see the full letter linked below. Andrew Broy Letter to DOE

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Charter Schools Facilities Brief: Inequities Persist

One of the leading causes of funding inequity in Illinois’ public education system is school facilities. The facilities funding inequity facing our state puts an undue burden on charter school leaders to find suitable, affordable facilities and affects their ability to make critical investments to aging and outdated buildings. To better understand the statewide impact…
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North Central College and INCS Partner to Provide Tuition Discount for Charter Teachers & Leaders

North Central College’s School of Education and Health Sciences and the School of Graduate and Professional Studies have forged a partnership with Illinois Network of Charter Schools (INCS) to promote character education. Charter school teachers and champions who are interested in earning a principal certification or taking on larger leadership roles will receive a 20…
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Charter Advocates Show Support for Renewals at CPS Board Meeting

INCS believes in a fair, transparent, and predictable renewal process for all of our member schools. Over the years, we have advocated with authorizers across the state to ensure that they work with our member schools productively so that the students educated in charter public schools have the benefit of a predictable renewal process. In…
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Chicago Charter School Parent Urges CPS Board for Long-Term Renewal

Keisha Williams is a parent of a Legal Prep Charter Academy student and wrote the following statement to share why her and her student made the choice to attend Legal Prep.  I am a parent of a Legal Prep Charter Academy student with a law focus. Again, I am asking for a long-term charter renewal…
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INCS 2022 Teacher Leadership Cohort Announced

On December 6, 2021, the 2022 INCS Teacher Leadership Cohort (TLC) was announced. The goal of this nine-month fellowship is to equip teachers with the experiences, knowledge and skills to support them to  speak out on behalf of their students, their schools and themselves.  The voice of teachers is sorely absent from discussions about the…
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Catalyst Charter School Searches – and Creates—Scholarships for Students

The average cost to attend a 4-year university in Illinois is right around $10,000 per year—ranking Illinois in the top half of the country for tuition and expenses. Some students may never give the cost of college a second thought. For others, these expenses could mean they can’t attend the school of their choice without…
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CPS should embrace charter schools to steady district enrollment

Enrollment decline in Chicago Public Schools continues its downward spiral. The Chicago Tribune Editorial Board recently wrote that “doing nothing is not an answer” – And we agree, parents need more high-quality public school options if we want families to stay in our city. Numerous factors are affecting these enrollment numbers, including the latest census…
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CPD Honors North Lawndale College Prep Student

The Chicago Police Department honored North Lawndale College Prep student Derrick Anderson with an honorable mention award for his intervention in an altercation earlier this summer. Police Chief Ernest Cato III witnessed Derrick intervene in a heated argument between two young students. Chief Cato assumed Anderson was a staff member at the event and later…
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Charter Community Unites for Back to School Supply Drive for Local Students

On Saturday, September 18, 2021, Represent Your Community and Centro San Bonifacio, along with community partners Illinois Network of Charter Schools and ASPIRA, provided families with school book bags, supplies, free haircuts, face painting, and provided an arts & craft table for children to show off their artistic skills. Early Saturday morning, community volunteers organized…
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Student at ASPIRA Charter High School makes National Competition at NFTE

Due to the pandemic, many students and families have felt drained and unmotivated during the last two years. However, at ASPIRA Business & Finance, a student and her teacher overcame these obstacles together. Sabrina participated in this year’s Chicago/Midwest Entrepreneurship Challenge hosted by Network For Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE). This yearly competition allows high school students…
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Perspectives Charter Schools: How We Stayed Connected to Students and Families

My name is Stephen Todd and I serve as a managing principal and senior director at Perspectives Charter Schools, a network of open-enrollment public schools that serves approximately 1600 students in grades 6-12. Perspectives’ teachers and staff have done important and impactful work to support our students during the past school year and reengage students…
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“We let teachers be teaching specialists, my goal is not to get in the way.” Acero-Tamayo Principal Matthew Katz Supports Excellent Teaching

“What distinguishes a high performing school is the quality of the teachers and what’s going on in the classroom. The real success happens with students and teachers,” says Principal Matthew Katz of Acero–Rufino Tamayo. Tamayo is one of the highest performing elementary schools in Chicago, serving 280 students on the city’s Southwest side. Like the…
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Teacher Appreciation Week: Lydia Garza, INCS Charter Excellence Awards Elementary Teacher of the Year

As part of Teacher Appreciation Week 2021, INCS is honoring the extraordinary work of teachers everywhere, including the charter public school teachers throughout Illinois. Few better illustrate the value of great teachers than the latest INCS Charter Excellence Award winners, recognized for their contributions to their profession, their schools, and – most importantly – their…
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INCS Thanks Dr. Janice Jackson for Her Service to Chicago’s Students

The Illinois Network of Charter Schools congratulates Dr. Janice Jackson on her tenure leading Chicago Public Schools as its Chief Executive Officer during one of the most challenging times for public education in our city. Over the past four years, Dr. Jackson led with integrity, honesty, and a strong commitment to putting Chicago’s families and…
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Providence Englewood, Champions of Black Excellence

At Providence Englewood Charter School (PECS), we celebrate and recognize black excellence every day. Black excellence means not being afraid of hard work.  I see the hard work our children put in every day, and I completely understand it.  I am a black woman from the Englewood neighborhood.  Throughout my K-12 years of school, I…
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