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posted: 4/24/2014 1:01 AM

Bills threaten charter schools

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Charter schools are under attack this session in Springfield, and it has nothing to do with students. We need your support.

Adult interest groups with deep pockets, and the legislators who are funded by them, are behind this crusade against quality public school options. The biggest losers are our students and families that need high-performing schools today.

Please stand strong with the 60,000 families in Illinois that want a better public school choice, and vote 'no' for the following bills:

1. SB2627/HB3754: Eliminates the Illinois State Charter School Commission, the only statewide charter school authorizer that reviews charter school appeals

2. SB2779/HB4237: Threatens the appeal route for charter school applicants who are denied locally, impeding the process for opening quality schools

3. HB 6005: Creates vast and varied administrative burdens on charter schools and charter school authorizers, and creates several restrictions on charter school autonomy

4. HB3745: Requires all charter high schools to establish vocational academies without funding, encroaching on tailored curriculum and college prep programs

5. HB4655/SB3004: Threatens charter school discipline policies tailored for the needs of their students and culture of the school

6. HB4527: Mandates charter school compliance with state and federal special education and English language learners laws, despite the fact that charter schools are already accountable for educating these two groups of students

7. HB5328: Mandates Chicago charter schools be administered by a local school council, creating an unnecessary and confusing layer of bureaucracy over the charter school board and the authorizer

8. SB3303: Provides rigid restrictions on the opening of, and access to, quality charter school options

9. HB3937: Extends the moratorium on virtual charter schools through Dec. 31, 2017

10. HB5887: Creates restrictions on virtual school options for students.

Thank you for your continued support of high-quality public school options in Illinois.

Thomas Stonis