holmes 041119 1SPRINGFIELD – Right now, a state agency can overturn a local school board’s decision to deny a charter school application in their school district. Under a proposal from State Senator Linda Holmes (D-Aurora), that decision would remain in local hands.

Senate Bill 1226 would change the charter school application process to abolish the State Charter School Commission and ensure locally elected school boards and parents would decide if a charter school is good for their community. The plan puts all existing charter schools authorized by the commission under the authority of the Illinois State Board of Education beginning June of 2020.

“This proposal is about local control and accountability for charter schools as they exist for public schools,” Holmes said. “The existing commission has overturned local school boards and I believe those decisions belong in the community, not at the state level.”

A local appeal process for charter schools already exists, eliminating the need for a state commission. Local voters also have the option of considering a charter school on the ballot of an upcoming election.

With bipartisan approval in the Senate, the measure now moves to the House for consideration.