INCS News

INCS Statement on Governor Pritzker’s Budget Address

The Illinois Network of Charter Schools applauds Governor Pritzker’s plan to fully fund the education formula in Illinois by allocating $375 million in additional funds, a $25 million increase over the statutorily targeted increase to the formula. For too many years, Illinois has lagged other states when it comes to state support for public education….
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INCS Statement on CTU’s Call for Strike at CICS

The Illinois Network of Charter Schools is disappointed that the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) has chosen to strike at four Chicago International Charter School (CICS) campuses, which affects the education of 2,200 students. The safety of students and staff along with maintaining a stable, high-quality learning environment remains a CICS top priority. INCS therefore calls…
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INCS Honors Martin Luther King, Jr.

Today, we at the Illinois Network of Charter Schools (INCS) reflect on the work of one of our nation’s greatest moral champions. The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. fought tirelessly for equality in the face of substantial resistance, eventually making the ultimate sacrifice in pursuit of a simple ideal – that America live up…
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INCS Statement on the Inauguration of Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker

The Illinois Network of Charter Schools (INCS) extends its congratulations to J.B. Pritzker, who has been inaugurated today as Illinois’ 43rd governor. INCS looks forward to working with Governor Pritzker in fostering education policy that advances student achievement and benefits all Illinois residents. The governor has been a national leader in early childhood education, and…
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Elevating Chicago: Bridging the City’s College Divide

Chicago’s public school system has undergone a dramatic transformation over the past twenty years.The transformation has gone largely unnoticed, but it has had a profound impact on the city’s overall educational performance. Unlike twenty years ago, Chicago students are now just as likely to attend a school choice option as they are to attend their…
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Chicago: A Choice District

Chicago’s public school system has undergone a dramatic transformation over the past twenty years. The transformation has gone largely unnoticed, but it has had a profound impact on the city’s overall educational performance. Unlike twenty years ago, Chicago students are now just as likely to attend a school choice option as they are to attend…
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Paving a New Path

Paving a New Path provides practical advice for the key phases of planning a charter school, from exploring the idea of charter school development to submitting a high-quality charter school proposal and preparing to open your school. Drawing upon the collective wisdom and technical information from the Illinois Network of Charter Schools and other experts…
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Illinois Statewide Survey: Public Education and Charter Public Schools

Education remains one of the highest priorities among voters, and there are strong opinions on the current state of Illinois’ public schools, according to the poll conducted by Public Opinion Strategies. Polling more than 600 registered voters, including both parents and non-parents across a wide spectrum of demographics, political parties, and counties in Illinois, the…
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Achieving the Dream: Chicago Charter High Schools Improve Academic and Life Outcomes for Students

Since the first charter high school opened its doors in 1997, Chicago’s charter public high schools have been transforming the public education system to improve academic achievement and outcomes, especially for African-American and Latino students who have historically faced barriers to academic success. This issue brief examines how charter public high schools have moved the…
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INCS Grateful Classes Resume, Displeased with Shortened Instructional Time

The Illinois Network of Charter Schools (INCS) is pleased that Acero students will return to the classroom and learning will resume. As the largest advocate for charter public schools, INCS continues to honor the deep contributions charter teachers make daily. Fostering academic growth and well-being of children will always be our highest priority and the…
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INCS Disappointed with Failed Contract Negotiations, Teacher Strike

The Illinois Network of Charter Schools (INCS) is disappointed with the breakdown of contract negotiations, prompting charter public school teachers who are unionized to strike. INCS has always honored the contribution of charter teachers, who work daily to create safe and productive learning environments for all students. INCS is therefore discouraged with the Chicago Teachers…
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INCS Stands Firm on Quality, High-Performing Charter Public Schools

The Illinois Network of Charter Schools (INCS) has always been about establishing and supporting high-performing, quality charter public schools. INCS’ stance on quality applies to all public schools—any school that serves Chicago students should he held accountable for improving student performance. Parents are aware of the performance of their locally-zoned schools, and when zoned to…
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INCS Pleased with Illinois Senate Vote to Retain HB 5175

The Illinois Network of Charter Schools (INCS) is pleased that the Illinois State Charter School Commission will retain its authority to hear appeals from those denied by school districts to start a charter public school. Votes in the Illinois Senate Wednesday evening came up short in an attempt to override the governor’s veto of HB…
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INCS Continues to Set the Record Straight on Funding

INCS is disappointed to learn that the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) and ChiACTS are calling for a strike authorization vote. The charter movement was founded on the principle that students need additional educational opportunities and a strike would do nothing to further such opportunity. Particularly troubling is the fact that CTU/ChiACTS are attempting to justify…
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Perspectives Interns Exhibit ADL Principles During INCS Internship

Kyla and Kayla, juniors at Perspectives Charter School, recently participated in a six-week internship at the Illinois Network of Charter Schools (INCS) to gain more experience in a work environment. This is one of many internships that Perspectives offers to juniors who attend the school. We asked Kyla and Kayla a few questions about Perspectives and their internship experiences,…
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Divvy Bikes and Education Funding

By Rich Haglund, Chief Operating Officer at INCS Now that spring appears to be fully present in Chicago, I face more competition for Divvy bikes (Chicago’s bike-sharing program). Sometimes I have to walk to a second or third dock near the train station to get a bike to ride to my office. I admit I’m…
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School choice is for teachers, too.

By Rich Haglund, Chief Operating Officer at the Illinois Network of Charter Schools Adults with the means to do so regularly exercise school choice – by moving, by attending private school, or by homeschooling their children. In most communities, unless a large percentage of school-consuming families exercise choice suddenly, the existing public schools are not…
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APA’s Read to Succeed Program Honors LEARN 8 Middle School

On Wednesday, March 15, students from LEARN 8 Middle School were honored by Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.’s Midwestern Region (Alpha Mi and Mu Mu Lambda Chapters). Brothers from Alpha Phi Alpha, the first intercollegiate Greek-letter fraternity for African-American men, read poems to students and emphasized the importance of reading and becoming educated citizens. The…
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Changing the Narrative One Tie at a Time

On Wednesday, September 21, young men from LEARN 8 Middle School participated in the Tied to Greatness ceremony. Men of color from the East Garfield Park neighborhood on Chicago’s west side taught the 8th grade boys how to tie their ties and encouraged them to combat the negative stereotypes seen in their environments. Sharing their…
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College-Bound Students Inspire Community at 87th Annual Bud Billiken Day Parade

Representative Christian Mitchell with several college-bound Chicago youth, minutes before the parade began Every summer, families on Chicago’s Southside gather to celebrate the start of the school year at the annual Bud Billiken Day Parade. This 87-year-old tradition launched with a noble purpose: “to provide underprivileged youth with the chance to be in the limelight.”[i]…
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