February 4, Springfield, Illinois—The Illinois Network of Charter Schools applauds Lucy Reese, a hardworking and proud charter public school parent from Chicago, who was recognized by Governor Bruce Rauner in his first State of the State Address today. In his address, Governor Rauner laid the groundwork for his vision for a stronger public education system for all Illinois families. He is a long-time supporter of charter public schools and believes in the right for Illinois parents to choose a quality public school that best fits their child’s needs. INCS fully supports Governor Rauner’s call to lift the arbitrary cap on Illinois charter schools to ensure that more families have access to high-quality charter public schools in their neighborhoods as well as his call to put increased education funding at the center of his agenda.
Governor Rauner shared Lucy’s charter school story in his State of the State Address. “Lucy Reese is with us today in the gallery. She lives in the Roseland neighborhood in Chicago and sends her children to public charter schools. She made that decision because they offer longer school days, enhanced learning opportunities, and variety for her kids. Her youngest daughter has struggled in English and Language Arts. She currently attends Ralph Ellison Chicago Charter School, which makes sure she gets more attention in these subjects. On the other hand, her son is a junior at Gary Comer College Prep. That high school offers much more rigorous and discipline curriculum that is perfect for his accelerated style. It’s time to give every child and parent in Illinois the same choices Lucy has been able to make for her children.”
Lucy is a passionate advocate for public education and knows firsthand the power of opportunity school choice creates for families and students in Illinois. She lives on the South Side of Chicago in the Roseland neighborhood with her husband and children. Lucy has been a proud charter public school parent for over 17 years. All of her children have graduated from or are currently attending charter schools in Chicago, including North Lawndale College Prep, the Noble Network of Charter Schools, and Chicago International Charter Schools. Lucy is also a founding board member of Charter Parents United, an organization that believes all children in Chicago should have equitable access to quality schools and the education they deserve for a successful future.
Charter schools are independent, publicly funded schools. Like district-run public schools, charter schools are open to all students. They are tuition-free, and there are no entrance exams or previous academic achievement requirements for students to enroll. Charter schools operate under a contract to improve student achievement and are held accountable for student performance. Demand for quality school options in Illinois is strong and continues to grow. More than 63,000 students are enrolled at 148 charter public schools across the state, and thousands of families are on waitlists.
According to Lucy, “All children need a choice. All families need a choice to make the decision that’s right for them and their family. There are no do-overs. When I make a choice, I have to make the best choice because you can’t go back and fix it.” Click here to watch Lucy tell her story.
The Illinois Network of Charter Schools (INCS) is dedicated to the improvement of education by establishing high-quality charter public schools that transform lives and communities. As the voice of Illinois charter schools, INCS advocates for legislation on behalf of the charter sector, provides support to strengthen charter schools, and influences education policy for the benefit of all public school students.