750 Charter School Parents Head to Statehouse to Fight for Equitable Treatment of Charter Public Schools in Illinois
Apr 6, 2016 12:00:00 AM
by Andrew Broy
Charter public school advocates are rallying in Chicago this morning to demonstrate their schools’ achievements and demand more equitable funding. https://twitter.com/alevybrown/status/717715678757826560 This morning, hundreds of charter public school parents and advocates are rallying together at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago before heading to the State Capitol to demand equitable treatment of charter public schools on behalf of the 61,000 charter school families in Chicago and 64,000 total statewide. The charter community will travel to Springfield to call on elected officials to work in a bipartisan manner to pass a budget. The brinksmanship has gone on far too long, and schools and students are suffering as a result. A second rally will be held in Springfield, where state elected officials, charter school leaders, and charter school parents will address the crowd. https://twitter.com/UCSNSCHOOLS/status/717697714700623872 This year, four charter public school students from Chicago International Charter Schools (CICS) and Intrinsic Schools will serve as pages for Illinois House of Representatives officials. Pages are typically high school students who are paired with their state legislators and serve on the House floor. Page duties may include observing the legislative process in action and helping legislators run errands or deliver messages. https://twitter.com/ILCharters/status/717693690446262272 Charter schools are tuition-free public schools that serve all students and do not require enrollment testing. Statewide, 92 percent of charter school students are African-American or Latino and 87 percent are low-income.
Studies show charter schools improve student achievement and outcomes. In Chicago, charter public school students grow more academically, graduate high school, enroll in college, and persist in college at higher rates than their peers at district-run open enrollment schools. A recent independent poll conducted by Public Opinion Strategies revealed that nearly
80 percent of Illinois voters support giving parents whose children attend low-performing schools the option of attending a charter school.
Andrew Broy, a former public school teacher and civil rights lawyer, is president of the Illinois Network of Charter Schools, a group that supports and advocates on behalf of Illinois charter public schools.