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Lawmakers Move To Eliminate Charter School Commission

Mon, 07 Apr 2014 04:00:05 CDT

Changes may be coming to how charter schools in Illinois are overseen, but critics say the proposal would be bad news for the schools. In order to start a charter school, would-be developers need to get approval from the local district. Sometimes, school districts see charters as rivals. So Illinois created a work-around. If the school board says no, a state commission can approve a charter's creation anyway. In it's short existence, it's been around for less than three years, the commission has only approved two schools. Now, legislators want to do away with that appeals board. They say the state board of education should have the ultimate authority over charter schools. Representative David McSweeney staunchly opposes the measure:

"This is a bad idea, this is an attempt to kill charter schools. The current charter school commission is working fine, let's support charter schools."

The Republican, who's from Barrington Hills, says it's an attempt to stymie charters school expansion. Even so, the Illinois House voted 78 to 33 to scrap the commission.

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