(105 ILCS 5/27A-2)
(a) The General Assembly finds and declares as follows:
(1) Encouraging educational excellence is in the best
interests of the people of this State.
(2) There are educators, community members, and
parents in Illinois who can offer flexible and innovative educational techniques and programs, but who lack an avenue through which to provide them within the public school system.
(3) The enactment of legislation authorizing charter
schools to operate in Illinois will promote new options within the public school system and will provide pupils, educators, community members, and parents with the stimulus to strive for educational excellence.
(b) The General Assembly further finds and declares that this Article is
enacted for the following purposes:
(1) To improve pupil learning by creating schools
with high, rigorous standards for pupil performance.
(2) To increase learning opportunities for all
pupils, with special emphasis on expanded learning experiences for at-risk pupils, consistent, however, with an equal commitment to increase learning opportunities for all other groups of pupils in a manner that does not discriminate on the basis of disability, race, creed, color, gender, national origin, religion, ancestry, marital status, or need for special education services.
(3) To encourage the use of teaching methods that may
be different in some respects than others regularly used in the public school system.
(4) To allow the development of new, different, or
alternative forms of measuring pupil learning and achievement.
(5) To create new professional opportunities for
teachers, including the opportunity to be responsible for the learning program at the school site.
(6) To provide parents and pupils with expanded
choices within the public school system.
(7) To encourage parental and community involvement
(8) To hold charter schools accountable for meeting
rigorous school content standards and to provide those schools with the opportunity to improve accountability.
(c) In authorizing charter schools, it is the intent of the General Assembly
to create a legitimate avenue for parents,
teachers, and community members to take responsible risks and create new,
innovative, and more flexible ways of educating children
within the public
school system. The General Assembly seeks to create opportunities within the
public school system of Illinois for development of
innovative and accountable
The provisions of this
Article should be interpreted liberally to support the findings and goals of
this Section and to advance a renewed commitment by the State of Illinois to
the mission, goals, and diversity of public education.
(Source: P.A. 89-450, eff. 4-10-96; 90-548, eff. 1-1-98.)