Friday, September 19, 2014

Charter School Position Update - Free Webinars Sunday, September 21, 4-5 pm & Wednesday, October 8, 7-8 pm

The League of Women Voters of Illinois is conducting a study to update its position on Charter Schools. Members are encouraged to register for two free webinars to receive updates of the study.

Position Update Study Webinar Registration
Two webinars have been scheduled for League members participating in the Charter School Study.

During the webinars, the PowerPoint will be presented and questions will be addressed. It is anticipated that the Sept. 21 webinar will focus on the first part of the PowerPoint--through the parts of Question 1--and the Oct. 8 webinar will focus on the rest of the PowerPoint.

Anyone who has questions about the issues addressed is invited to participate. We particularly invite members of local League committees which are organizing and presenting the study. But you must pre-register.

To register for the Sept. 21 meeting from 4-5 p.m., click HERE.
To register for the Oct. 8 meeting from 7-8 p.m., click HERE.

Following is the League of Women Voters of Illinois' CURRENT position, in brief, on charter schools.
The League of Women Voters of Illinois believes that: 
  • The Illinois State Board of Education should continue to monitor the progress of existing charters before supporting expansion, specifically looking for improvement in individual student test scores and achievement of the specific goals stated in the school's charter. 
  • Charters should be established by local school boards, with adequate provisions for public education and participation in the decision making process.  
  • An appeal process to the State Board of Education should remain in place as an option for charters who have been denied by their local school boards. 
While we feel that advantages of charters largely outweigh the disadvantages, we have identified the following areas of concern:
  • School funding.  Charters do nothing to address the issue of equitable and adequate funding of education, including special education.
  • Financial impact on underlying school districts, especially smaller districts. Charters place financial pressure on smaller districts by drawing money out of the traditional public schools. 
  • Privatization and profit-making.  The LWVIL opposes the presence of private, for-profit companies in the governance of public education, as there could be a conflict between the interests of shareholders in the corporation and the citizens of the state.

LWVIL has also identified areas of opportunity resulting from charter schools:
  • Innovation.  Charters have a mandate to share innovations in teaching methods, curricula and standards of assessment for all stakeholders.
  • Increased parental choice and involvement within the public school system. 
Click here to read the League's position, in full.

For general information about the League's study, please visit:

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