Thursday, July 21, 2011

Illinois Charter School Common Sense Good News

Dear Merle,

Finally in Illinois, we have the power to say "Yes" to charter schools.

Yesterday Gov. Pat Quinn signed the Charter School Quality Act, a major victory for the school reform movement. Under this legislation, a new state commission will authorize and regulate charter schools – allowing new schools to open in dozens of communities where, until now, charter schools were nonexistent. This is a victory for families and communities who have long sought an alternative to a failing public school.

The Illinois Policy Institute is proud of its role in crafting this legislation, which you can read about here. But this victory would not have been realized without the help of more than a dozen individuals dedicated to creating a better school system here in Illinois. State Sen. Heather Steans deserves special mention, and we applaud Gov. Quinn for turning this legislation into law.

Charter schools having been improving education in Illinois for several years now (read our newly released performance review of downstate and suburban charter schools for the 2009-10 school year) and now, thanks to all of these people, more charter schools will now join others that already exist in Illinois.

Do not be mistaken; we must continue to take steps in improving our state's public education system. But today, we can be assured that the state has taken a bold step in the right direction.

Collin Hitt
Senior Director of Government Affairs
Illinois Policy Institute


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