Geneva Schools Asked to Support Bill to Eliminate Illinois Charter Commission

The Geneva School Board hears a pitch to support an Illinois House bill that would put the decision-making for charter schools back into the hands of the Illinois State Board of Education.

John Laesch addresses the Geneva School Board on Monday, Jan. 13, 2014.
John Laesch addresses the Geneva School Board on Monday, Jan. 13, 2014.
An Illinois House bill sponsored by Linda Chapa Lavia, D-Aurora, hopes to put an end to the Illinois Charter Commission and a bid by Virtual Learning Solutions and K12 Inc. to bring virtual charter schools to the Fox Valley area.

Northern Illinois Jobs With Justice representative John Laesch asked the Geneva School District 304 Board of Education on Monday to support House Bill 3754 and Senate Bill 2627, which would put the decision-making for charter schools back into the hands of the Illinois State Board of Education.

In May, Chapa LaVia sponsored a successful bill that established a moratorium on all new virtual charter schools until April 1, 2014.

"We know that the moratorium is coming to an end," Laesch said Monday. "What we’re advocating is to get rid of the ISCSC." 

In 2013, 18 area school districts approached by Virtual Learning Solutions denied organizers' application to start virtual charter schools. Geneva School District 304 voted against the charter in early April.

Under the present system, the Charter Commission can override a local school board's rejection of a charter school. The concerns expressed by school board members last year were that such schools would take away dollars from public education.

Funding for the virtual charter school would come by transferring the per-pupil expenditure tuition from the public school. Back in May, Geneva officials estimated that the total dollars lost to the district would be in the range of $10,000 to $12,000 per pupil.

Laesch said Monday he or other representatives would be talking to school boards from all 18 districts that had been targeted as part of the VLS Fox River Valley group.

A public discussion of charter schools will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 23, at the Batavia Public Library, 10 S. Batavia Ave.

Fox Valley Schools Approached by VLS

  1. School District U-46
  2. Indian Prairie School District 204
  3. Plainfield Community Consolidated School District 202
  4. Community Unit School District 300
  5. Valley View Community Unit School District 365U
  6. Naperville Community Unit School District 203
  7. Oswego Community Unit School District 308
  8. East Aurora School District 131
  9. St. Charles Community Unit School District 303
  10. Community Unit School District 200
  11. West Aurora School District 129
  12. Batavia Public School District 101
  13. Geneva Community Unit School District 304
  14. DeKalb Community Unit School District 428
  15. Yorkville Community Unit School District 115
  16. Kaneland Community Unit School District 302
  17. Sycamore Community Unit School District 427
  18. Central Community Unit School District 301

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