[author: Amy K. Dickerson]
The recently created Illinois State Charter School Commission recently published proposed amendments to the charter school regulations. As we reported this past summer, the Charter School Quality Act created the Illinois State Charter School Commission, an independent state agency with statewide chartering jurisdiction and authority. The Commission now serves many of the functions that the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) previously served regarding charter schools, including accepting appeals of a local school board’s decision to deny (or not consider) a charter school proposal. ISBE still retains certain responsibilities, including the authority to certify any proposal approved by the Commission. The Commission held its first meeting in November 2011.
The proposed amendments contain three primary proposed changes to the current rules. First, the proposed rules would amend the procedures for the submission of local school board reports to ISBE and the Commission regarding the approval, renewal, denial, revocation, or non-renewals of charter school contracts and proposals. Second, the proposed rules would amend the procedures for appealing a local school board’s decision to deny, revoke, or refuse to renew a charter. Third, the proposed rules address the appeal procedures for those instances where a school board has failed to comply with the statutory deadlines to consider a charter school proposal, and would include new procedures to be followed by the Commission when considering an appeal. These new proposed procedures would require the Commission to be “mindful in making its determinations on appeals that the goal of the Charter Schools Law is to ‘authorize high quality charter schools throughout the State, particularly schools designed to expand opportunities for at-risk students.’”
Public comments regarding the proposed rules may be submitted through April 6, 2012 via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone to 773.551.1802. The Commission will also hold a public meeting on April 16, 2012 at 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Commission’s Offices, 160 North LaSalle Street, Suite S-601, Chicago, Illinois, 60601 to discuss the comments received regarding the amended rules, and will receive any additional public comments on the rules during the public participation session of that meeting.