Sosnowski: Abolishing Charter School Commission weakens education opportunities

Online Staff Report

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — The Illinois House of Representatives approved legislation March 20 that would eliminate the State Charter School Commission. The commission, established six years ago, is tasked with reviewing appeals by charter schools that have been denied by local school boards. State Rep. Joe Sosnowski, R-Belvidere, said he is disappointed in the decision.

The commission has served the people of Illinois well by providing charter schools the opportunity for fair hearings after being denied at the local level,” Sosnowski said. “The Illinois State Board of Education, who would now take on that responsibility if the bill is signed into law, does not have the time or resources to hear their appeals. Unfortunately, this means that many qualified schools will not get a fair hearing. This legislation is a clear attempt to weaken charter schools in Illinois.”

Since the commission’s creation, it has heard 38 appeals from charter school organizations denied by local school districts and has approved only two of these appeals.

We need to make sure that all children are being given every opportunity to succeed,” Sosnowski said. “The charter school commission provides critical checks and balances to charter schools that have been wrongfully denied locally, even when they are in the best interest of the students.”

House Bill 3754 advanced the by a vote of 78-33 and now moves to the Senate for further consideration.

Posted March 21, 2014

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