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Illinois Compiled Statutes

Information maintained by the Legislative Reference Bureau
Updating the database of the Illinois Compiled Statutes (ILCS) is an ongoing process. Recent laws may not yet be included in the ILCS database, but they are found on this site as Public Acts soon after they become law. For information concerning the relationship between statutes and Public Acts, refer to the Guide.

Because the statute database is maintained primarily for legislative drafting purposes, statutory changes are sometimes included in the statute database before they take effect. If the source note at the end of a Section of the statutes includes a Public Act that has not yet taken effect, the version of the law that is currently in effect may have already been removed from the database and you should refer to that Public Act to see the changes made to the current law.

SCHOOLS
(105 ILCS 5/) School Code.

105 ILCS 5/27A-8

    (105 ILCS 5/27A-8)
    Sec. 27A-8. Evaluation of charter proposals.
    (a) This Section does not apply to a charter school established by referendum under Section 27A-6.5. In evaluating any charter school proposal submitted to it, the local school board and the Commission shall give preference to proposals that:
        (1) demonstrate a high level of local pupil,
    
parental, community, business, and school personnel support;
        (2) set rigorous levels of expected pupil achievement
    
and demonstrate feasible plans for attaining those levels of achievement; and
        (3) are designed to enroll and serve a substantial
    
proportion of at-risk children; provided that nothing in the Charter Schools Law shall be construed as intended to limit the establishment of charter schools to those that serve a substantial portion of at-risk children or to in any manner restrict, limit, or discourage the establishment of charter schools that enroll and serve other pupil populations under a nonexclusive, nondiscriminatory admissions policy.
    (b) In the case of a proposal to establish a charter school by converting an existing public school or attendance center to charter school status, evidence that the proposed formation of the charter school has received majority support from certified teachers and from parents and guardians in the school or attendance center affected by the proposed charter, and, if applicable, from a local school council, shall be demonstrated by a petition in support of the charter school signed by certified teachers and a petition in support of the charter school signed by parents and guardians and, if applicable, by a vote of the local school council held at a public meeting. In the case of all other proposals to establish a charter school, evidence of sufficient support to fill the number of pupil seats set forth in the proposal may be demonstrated by a petition in support of the charter school signed by parents and guardians of students eligible to attend the charter school. In all cases, the individuals, organizations, or entities who initiate the proposal to establish a charter school may elect, in lieu of including any petition referred to in this subsection as a part of the proposal submitted to the local school board, to demonstrate that the charter school has received the support referred to in this subsection by other evidence and information presented at the public meeting that the local school board is required to convene under this Section.
    (c) Within 45 days of receipt of a charter school proposal, the local school board shall convene a public meeting to obtain information to assist the board in its decision to grant or deny the charter school proposal. A local school board may develop its own process for receiving charter school proposals on an annual basis that follows the same timeframes as set forth in this Article. Only after the local school board process is followed may a charter school applicant appeal to the Commission.
    (d) Notice of the public meeting required by this Section shall be published in a community newspaper published in the school district in which the proposed charter is located and, if there is no such newspaper, then in a newspaper published in the county and having circulation in the school district. The notices shall be published not more than 10 days nor less than 5 days before the meeting and shall state that information regarding a charter school proposal will be heard at the meeting. Copies of the notice shall also be posted at appropriate locations in the school or attendance center proposed to be established as a charter school, the public schools in the school district, and the local school board office. If 45 days pass without the local school board holding a public meeting, then the charter applicant may submit the proposal to the Commission, where it must be addressed in accordance with the provisions set forth in subsection (g) of this Section.
    (e) Within 30 days of the public meeting, the local school board shall vote, in a public meeting, to either grant or deny the charter school proposal. If the local school board has not voted in a public meeting within 30 days after the public meeting, then the charter applicant may submit the proposal to the Commission, where it must be addressed in accordance with the provisions set forth in subsection (g) of this Section.
    (f) Within 7 days of the public meeting required under subsection (e) of this Section, the local school board shall file a report with the State Board granting or denying the proposal. If the local school board has approved the proposal, within 30 days of receipt of the local school board's report, the State Board shall determine whether the approved charter proposal is consistent with the provisions of this Article and, if the approved proposal complies, certify the proposal pursuant to Section 27A-6.
    (g) If the local school board votes to deny the proposal, then the charter school applicant has 30 days from the date of that vote to submit an appeal to the Commission. In such instances or in those instances referenced in subsections (d) and (e) of this Section, the Commission shall follow the same process and be subject to the same timelines for review as the local school board.
    (h) The Commission may reverse a local school board's decision to deny a charter school proposal if the Commission finds that the proposal (i) is in compliance with this Article and (ii) is in the best interests of the students the charter school is designed to serve. Final decisions of the Commission are subject to judicial review under the Administrative Review Law.
    (i) In the case of a charter school proposed to be jointly authorized by 2 or more school districts, the local school boards may unanimously deny the charter school proposal with a statement that the local school boards are not opposed to the charter school, but that they yield to the Commission in light of the complexities of joint administration.
(Source: P.A. 96-105, eff. 7-30-09; 96-734, eff. 8-25-09; 96-1000, eff. 7-2-10; 97-152, eff. 7-20-11.)

105 ILCS 5/27A-9

    (105 ILCS 5/27A-9)
    Sec. 27A-9. Term of charter; renewal.
    (a) A charter may be granted for a period not less than 5 and not more than 10 school years. A charter may be renewed in incremental periods not to exceed 5 school years.
    (b) A charter school renewal proposal submitted to the local school board or the Commission, as the chartering entity, shall contain:
        (1) A report on the progress of the charter school in
    
achieving the goals, objectives, pupil performance standards, content standards, and other terms of the initial approved charter proposal; and
        (2) A financial statement that discloses the costs of
    
administration, instruction, and other spending categories for the charter school that is understandable to the general public and that will allow comparison of those costs to other schools or other comparable organizations, in a format required by the State Board.
    (c) A charter may be revoked or not renewed if the local school board or the Commission, as the chartering entity, clearly demonstrates that the charter school did any of the following, or otherwise failed to comply with the requirements of this law:
        (1) Committed a material violation of any of the
    
conditions, standards, or procedures set forth in the charter.
        (2) Failed to meet or make reasonable progress toward
    
achievement of the content standards or pupil performance standards identified in the charter.
        (3) Failed to meet generally accepted standards of
    
fiscal management.
        (4) Violated any provision of law from which the
    
charter school was not exempted.
    In the case of revocation, the local school board or the Commission, as the chartering entity, shall notify the charter school in writing of the reason why the charter is subject to revocation. The charter school shall submit a written plan to the local school board or the Commission, whichever is applicable, to rectify the problem. The plan shall include a timeline for implementation, which shall not exceed 2 years or the date of the charter's expiration, whichever is earlier. If the local school board or the Commission, as the chartering entity, finds that the charter school has failed to implement the plan of remediation and adhere to the timeline, then the chartering entity shall revoke the charter. Except in situations of an emergency where the health, safety, or education of the charter school's students is at risk, the revocation shall take place at the end of a school year. Nothing in this amendatory Act of the 96th General Assembly shall be construed to prohibit an implementation timetable that is less than 2 years in duration.
    (d) (Blank).
    (e) Notice of a local school board's decision to deny, revoke or not to renew a charter shall be provided to the Commission and the State Board. The Commission may reverse a local board's decision if the Commission finds that the charter school or charter school proposal (i) is in compliance with this Article, and (ii) is in the best interests of the students it is designed to serve. The Commission may condition the granting of an appeal on the acceptance by the charter school of funding in an amount less than that requested in the proposal submitted to the local school board. Final decisions of the Commission shall be subject to judicial review under the Administrative Review Law.
    (f) Notwithstanding other provisions of this Article, if the Commission on appeal reverses a local board's decision or if a charter school is approved by referendum, the Commission shall act as the authorized chartering entity for the charter school. The Commission shall approve the charter and shall perform all functions under this Article otherwise performed by the local school board. The State Board shall determine whether the charter proposal approved by the Commission is consistent with the provisions of this Article and, if the approved proposal complies, certify the proposal pursuant to this Article. The State Board shall report the aggregate number of charter school pupils resident in a school district to that district and shall notify the district of the amount of funding to be paid by the State Board to the charter school enrolling such students. The Commission shall require the charter school to maintain accurate records of daily attendance that shall be deemed sufficient to file claims under Section 18-8.05 notwithstanding any other requirements of that Section regarding hours of instruction and teacher certification. The State Board shall withhold from funds otherwise due the district the funds authorized by this Article to be paid to the charter school and shall pay such amounts to the charter school.
    (g) For charter schools authorized by the Commission, the Commission shall quarterly certify to the State Board the student enrollment for each of its charter schools.
    (h) For charter schools authorized by the Commission, the State Board shall pay directly to a charter school any federal or State aid attributable to a student with a disability attending the school.
(Source: P.A. 97-152, eff. 7-20-11; 98-739, eff. 7-16-14.)

105 ILCS 5/27A-10

    (105 ILCS 5/27A-10)
    Sec. 27A-10. Employees.
    (a) A person shall be deemed to be employed by a charter school unless a collective bargaining agreement or the charter school contract otherwise provides.
    (b) In all school districts, including special charter districts and districts located in cities having a population exceeding 500,000, the local school board shall determine by policy or by negotiated agreement, if one exists, the employment status of any school district employees who are employed by a charter school and who seek to return to employment in the public schools of the district. Each local school board shall grant, for a period of up to 5 years, a leave of absence to those of its teachers who accept employment with a charter school. At the end of the authorized leave of absence, the teacher must return to the school district or resign; provided, however, that if the teacher chooses to return to the school district, the teacher must be assigned to a position which requires the teacher's certification and legal qualifications. The contractual continued service status and retirement benefits of a teacher of the district who is granted a leave of absence to accept employment with a charter school shall not be affected by that leave of absence.
    (c) Charter schools shall employ in instructional positions, as defined in the charter, individuals who are certificated under Article 21 of this Code or who possess the following qualifications:
        (i) graduated with a bachelor's degree from an
    
accredited institution of higher learning;
        (ii) been employed for a period of at least 5 years
    
in an area requiring application of the individual's education;
        (iii) passed the tests of basic skills and subject
    
matter knowledge required by Section 21-1a of the School Code; and
        (iv) demonstrate continuing evidence of professional
    
growth which shall include, but not be limited to, successful teaching experience, attendance at professional meetings, membership in professional organizations, additional credits earned at institutions of higher learning, travel specifically for educational purposes, and reading of professional books and periodicals.
    (c-5) Charter schools employing individuals without certification in instructional positions shall provide such mentoring, training, and staff development for those individuals as the charter schools determine necessary for satisfactory performance in the classroom.
    At least 50% of the individuals employed in instructional positions by a charter school that is operating in a city having a population exceeding 500,000 and that is established on or after April 16, 2003 shall hold teaching certificates issued under Article 21 of this Code.
    At least 75% of the individuals employed in instructional positions by a charter school that is operating in a city having a population exceeding 500,000 and that was established before April 16, 2003 shall hold teaching certificates issued under Article 21 of this Code.
    (c-10) Notwithstanding any provision in subsection (c-5) to the contrary, in any charter school established before the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 96th General Assembly, at least 75% of the individuals employed in instructional positions by the charter school shall hold teaching certificates issued under Article 21 of this Code beginning with the 2012-2013 school year. In any charter school established after the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 96th General Assembly, at least 75% of the individuals employed in instructional positions by a charter school shall hold teaching certificates issued under Article 21 of this Code by the beginning of the fourth school year during which a student is enrolled in the charter school. Charter schools may employ non-certificated staff in all other positions.
    (c-15) Charter schools are exempt from any annual cap on new participants in an alternative certification program. The second and third phases of the alternative certification program may be conducted and completed at the charter school, and the alternative teaching certificate is valid for 4 years or the length of the charter (or any extension of the charter), whichever is longer.
    (d) A teacher at a charter school may resign his or her position only if the teacher gives notice of resignation to the charter school's governing body at least 60 days before the end of the school term, and the resignation must take effect immediately upon the end of the school term.
(Source: P.A. 96-105, eff. 7-30-09.)

105 ILCS 5/27A-10.5

    (105 ILCS 5/27A-10.5)
    Sec. 27A-10.5. Educational or charter management organization.
    (a) In this Section:
    "CMO" means a charter management organization.
    "EMO" means an educational management organization.
    (b) All authorizers shall ensure that any charter school established on or after the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 98th General Assembly has a governing body that is separate and distinct from the governing body of any CMO or EMO. In reviewing charter applications and charter renewal applications, authorizers shall review the governance model proposed by the applicant to ensure that there are no conflicts of interest.
    (c) No charter school may employ a staff person who is simultaneously employed by an EMO or CMO.
(Source: P.A. 98-783, eff. 1-1-15.)

105 ILCS 5/27A-10.10

    (105 ILCS 5/27A-10.10)
    Sec. 27A-10.10. Closure of charter school; unspent public funds; procedures for the disposition of property and assets.
    (a) Upon the closing of a charter school authorized by one or more local school boards, the governing body of the charter school or its designee shall refund to the chartering entity or entities all unspent public funds. The charter school's other property and assets shall be disposed of under the provisions of the charter application and contract. If the application and contract are silent or ambiguous as to the disposition of any of the school's property or assets, any property or assets of the charter school purchased with public funds shall be returned to the school district or districts from which the charter school draws enrollment, at no cost to the receiving district or districts, subject to each district's acceptance of the property or asset. Any unspent public funds or other property or assets received by the charter school directly from any State or federal agency shall be refunded to or revert back to that State or federal agency, respectively.
    (b) Upon the closing of a charter school authorized by the Commission, the governing body of the charter school or its designee shall refund all unspent public funds to the State Board of Education. The charter school's other property and assets shall be disposed of under the provisions of the charter application and contract. If the application and contract are silent or ambiguous as to the disposition of any of the school's property or assets, any property or assets of the charter school purchased with public funds shall be returned to the school district or districts from which the charter school draws its enrollment, at no cost to the receiving district or districts, subject to each district's acceptance of the property or asset. Any unspent public funds or other property or assets provided by a State agency other than the State Board of Education or by a federal agency shall be refunded to or revert back to that State or federal agency, respectively.
(Source: P.A. 98-783, eff. 1-1-15.)