Legislation Would Add Rules For Charter Schools

Jun 5, 2014

Charter schools would be required to follow Illinois laws for special education and non-English speaking students under legislation now on the governor's desk. 

The Illinois State Board of Education says it's aware of a "handful" of schools that are not complying with state laws on, for example, the required number of special education teachers for a given number of students.

Credit flickr user / dcJohn (CC BY 2.0)

Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D- Shorewood) says if charter schools are meant to give parents more choices, that ought to include parents whose kids need special education or are English language learners.

"Otherwise we are excluding these children from choice," Bertino-Tarrant said.

Senator Kyle McCarter (R-Lebanon) says it's important charter schools be kept free of government regulation. 

"What you're doing with this bill is taking away the flexibility and the innovation that has characterized charters, and made them a success."

McCarter says this is the latest in a series of bills to go against charter schools this year, and suggests it's part of a slow process to make charter schools more like "regular" public schools.