2017 PPI Score
School Choice Score: 0%
Illinois’s Invest in Kids program, a tax-credit scholarship program for low-income and working class households, was enacted in 2017 and will begin serving students in 2018, making it Illinois’s second educational choice program.
Individual Tax Credit/Deduction
Illinois’ Tax Credits for Educational Expenses program was enacted in 1999 and launched in 2000 to help families afford the public, private or home school options that fit their children’s needs.
Charter Schools Score: 65%
Illinois has a weak charter school sector that is inactive in all parts of the state besides in Chicago.
While Illinois allows for multiple entities to authorize charter schools the largest authorizer of charter schools are local school districts primarily Chicago Public Schools. This is especially problematic because in recent collective bargaining negotiations Chicago Public Schools agreed to halt the growth of charter schools in the Windy City, effectively stopping the entire state’s charter school growth in its tracks.
The land of Lincoln earned a grade of D on CER’s most recent charter school law rankings. While Illinois does have multiple authorizers and somewhat equitable funding, charter school expansion in the state has halted both due to the Chicago Teachers Union and Chicago Public schools agreeing to halt charter school expansion and due to regulations which make it difficult for new schools to open severely harming Illinois’ grade
- Fast Facts
- Law Passed: 1996
- Number of Schools: 232
- Estimated Charter Enrollment: 65,500
- Illinois does cap the number of charter schools which can be authorized at 120
- Illinois had a moratorium on virtual charter schools that just lifted
- Charter Schools can contract with EMOs and CMOs for management purposes
- Illinois earned a six out of fifteen for charter authorizers. In Illinois, there are two bodies who are able to authorize charter schools- public school districts and the Illinois state charter commission. However, as part of the new collective bargaining agreement in Chicago, the Chicago Public School District (the body that authorizes the majority of charter schools in Chicago), agreed to have a moratorium on the authorization of new charter schools. which This harms the ability for new charter schools to be able to operate.
- Illinois earned a three out of fifteen for growth. This score was earned because Illinois has a statewide cap of one hundred and twenty charter schools (seventy five in Chicago and forty five outside of Chicago). There also is a moratorium on virtual charter schools serving students in areas outside of Chicago. Furthermore, as part of a new collective bargaining agreement, Chicago Public Schools agreed not to increase the number of CPS authorized charter schools. All of these decisions limit opportunity for students. On top of these policies limitations on charter school authorization, Illinois has other policies such as requiring charter schools who want to expand (outside of the first fifteen charters in Chicago) to apply for a brand new charter in order to expand.
- Illinois earned a ten out of twenty for operations. In Illinois, there is a blanket waiver on state regulations, but local charters are still required to follow local regulations when authorized by local school districts. Many Organizations that have the autonomy to regulate charters, such as Chicago Public Schools are routinely hostile to charter schools. As one can imagine, it is not conducive towards fostering successful charter schools thus ultimately harming the ability for charters to be innovative in Illinois.
- Illinois earned a five out of fifteen for funding Equity. Charters to receive as little as 75 percent of conventional public school funding, and no more than 125 percent. They may apply for state grants distributed to school districts. The state commission can charge up to three percent administration fees of the school’s revenue. Districts also can receive “impact aid” to offset the alleged drain by charter schools, although this provision hasn’t been funded since FY2008. Charter Schools in Illinois do not receive per pupil funding for facilities.
Online Learning Score: 62%
For example, the state’s charter law requires students to physically meet once a week and there are also attendance boundary laws for online schools. Additionally, the Illinois Virtual School offers flexible enrollment and there are three blended learning schools in Chicago and one full-time online charter school with limitations on enrollment. Illinois provides limited opportunities for students to access some online courses and grades, but with the moratorium on the creation of virtual schools, some options are limited.
Teacher Quality Score: 78%
Delivering Well Prepared Teachers D+
Expanding the Pool of Teachers C+
Identifying Effective Teachers C
Retaining Effective Teachers C-
Exiting Ineffective Teachers B+