Monday, February 24, 2014

Help Slow Down Charter School Proliferation in Illinois (from Northern Illinois Jobs With Justice)

This is our chance to fight back against the billion-dollar drive for privatization and corporatization of Illinois's public schools.  

State Representative Linda Chapa LaVia has introduced three crucial bills.  The first two bills would restore local control over charter decisions, and the third bill would assure that all public schools be fully-staffed with certified teachers. Please ask your State Senator and State Representative to sponsor the following bills:  

  •  HB 3754 would eliminate the Illinois State Charter Commission, which was created to overturn decisions of locally-elected school boards that have rejected applications of charter schools.  The Commission was assembled under the heavy influence of wealthy hedge fund managers and their front groups: Stand for Children and Advance Illinois. Click Here to read the bill.   The companion bill in the Senate is SB 2627.
  • HB 4237 would allow school districts to hold a referendum if the charter commission overturned the decision of a local school board.  Click Here to read the bill.
  • HB 4767 would require all schools to hire only state certified teachers; it would also require uncertified teachers to become certified by September of 2016.  Currently, up to 25% of teachers in charter schools are uncertified and are paid less than their counterparts in neighborhood public schools.  Many of these teachers are given a six-week course through Teach for America.  This leaves them inadequately prepared for the challenges of the classroom.  This practice also creates a high turnover among those teachers and a poor educational experience for the students. Click Here to read the bill.  

Please call or email your State Representative and tell him or her to sign on as sponsors of HB 3754, HB 4237, and HB 4767. Ask your State Senator to sign onto SB 2627.  Click on this link to find out who represents you and get his or her contact information.

Northern Illinois Jobs With Justice is a non-profit, non-partisan coalition of unions, community organizations, faith-based groups, student groups, and seniors’ organizations. Our purpose is to work together to support one another and to develop and advocate for policies that a) create sustainable living wage jobs and b) challenge the existing economic inequalities.

Our activities focus on research, education, advocacy and mobilization of justice issues and are consistent with rules governing 501c3 nonprofit organizations.

We want prosperity, not austerity. We support fair pensions for public employees and call upon the Illinois General Assembly to close corporate tax loopholes, modernize our tax code with a graduated income tax, and pass a speculation sales tax (SST) on contracts traded on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange in order to fund fair pensions and stabilize our economy through job creation.

1 comment:

  1. "Please contact your state senators and representatives. There is nothing a charter school does that local schools can't do. But charter schools don't have to provide the constitutional guarantees for children and their parents that a public school must provide. No equal protection, no obligation to educate the disabled or those students with special needs. If they find that they are not making profits, they have no obligation to the public to stay open. They can take taxpayer money and close. Charter operators, as they function today, claim they offer choice for parents. Actually this is a ruse. If they kick out the child, the child can go to the local neighborhood school...but there is no choice if that school no longer exists. It is choice for the charter operators, but not for the child or the parent. It is taxpayers' dollars in 'for-profit' schools. Even the fines they can charge parents can be part of the profit. They are private schools with no accountability to the public, but they are funded with tax dollars."

    Please contact your legislators.
    Patricia Herrmann