Democracy in Illinois. One unelected group overrules another unelected group on charter schools.


Some politicians, like 40th District State Representative Jaime Andrade, may prefer having their sponsorship of HB4268 on their campaign flyer without having to vote for it.

The Illinois Charter School Commission was established in 2011. Its members are nominated by the governor and appointed by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE).

This unelected group has the power to overrule a local school board on charter school applications.

Everywhere in Illinois outside of Chicago it means the Illinois Charter Commission can usurp local control of schools, authorize a charter school after it has been denied authorization by the local community and then force the local community to pay for the school.

In Chicago we don’t have local control of our schools. Our CPS school board is appointed by the Mayor.

Chicago remains the only school district in Illinois with an unelected school board.

Yesterday we saw what democracy looks like in Chicago, where one unelected group overruled another unelected group. The SCSC ordered that three failing Chicago charter schools must remain open.

CPS will foot the bill.

Three charter schools the School Board sought to close for poor performance won a reprieve Tuesday night as the state charter school commission voted 6-0 to keep them open.

Amandla Charter School in Englewood and Betty Shabazz International Charter School’s Sizemore Academy in West Englewood both were granted permission to stay open for two years — the amount of time left on the charter agreement they had with Chicago Public Schools. Bronzeville Lighthouse, which was up for renewal, received a three-year charter.

Legislative attempts to disband or reduce the power of the Charter Commission have failed.

HB 4268 would establish an elected school board in Chicago. With a ton of sponsors, the bill has seen no legislative action other than to assign it to the Rules Committee.

It appears that many of the bill’s sponsors see it as more valuable as something to put on a campaign flyer than to actually have to vote on it.

4 Replies to “Democracy in Illinois. One unelected group overrules another unelected group on charter schools.”

  1. In today’s Age of Technology, we shouldn’t elect anybody. Just put all the issues on FaceBook, and let everyone vote on every issue. That’s true Democracy.

    What could go wrong, Fred?

  2. Read this bad news in today’s Trib (up early to go to a certain meeting).
    But–for all who don’t read the paper– the Trib. endorsed Harish Patel.

  3. Fred, the ERSB bill for CPS is moving. The bill number changed to HB557 and it passed out of the education policy and curriculum committee. I’m very hopeful for a floor vote and passage of this bill. The ESRB is coming. As for Rep. Andrade, I will tell you that this bill has been a huge lift and he has been a big help along the way. This wouldn’t be on the table without his help. That’s the straight truth.

  4. Luckily, HB 4268 is now HB 557, which was voted out of committee a couple of weeks ago. So now it’s on the House floor gathering more support. Let’s just hope the Senate reciprocates.

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