FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 31, 2018
Melissa Ramirez Cooper
The Illinois Network of Charter Schools (INCS) applauds Governor Bruce Rauner for putting children and families first with a veto of HB 5175. This bill, like others before it, would eliminate the Illinois State Charter School Commission’s ability to hear appeals from applicants who are improperly denied by the district to start a charter public school.
The Commission serves as the only meaningful appeals route available for parents and communities seeking a charter public school education for their children. Having a strong, independent alternative authorizer like the Commission is a marker of a strong charter environment. In fact, among the 43 states that allow charter public schools, the majority allow for an authorizer other than local school districts. These authorizers are often single-purpose entities like the Commission and can devote all the energies to high-quality authorizing.
The Illinois State Charter School Commission was created by a strong, bipartisan vote in 2011. The Commission has been judicious in using its authority—overturning a district’s decision only six times out of more than 60 applications. When it comes to educating children, the stakes are incredibly high, and the charter community supports the Commission’s rigor.
We are especially thankful to the many parents, school leaders, community members, and charter public school advocates who called, wrote letters, and engaged on social media with their legislators. Their efforts made a difference.
The Illinois Network of Charter Schools is dedicated to the improvement of public 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. Learn more at incschools.org.