HB4237 EngrossedLRB098 15111 NHT 51372 b

1    AN ACT concerning education.
2    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
3represented in the General Assembly:
4    Section 5. The School Code is amended by changing Sections
527A-7.5, 27A-8, and 27A-9 as follows:
6    (105 ILCS 5/27A-7.5)
7    Sec. 27A-7.5. State Charter School Commission.
8    (a) A State Charter School Commission is established as an
9independent commission with statewide chartering jurisdiction
10and authority. The Commission shall be under the State Board
11for administrative purposes only.
12    (a-5) The State Board shall provide administrative support
13to the Commission as needed.
14    (b) The Commission is responsible for authorizing
15high-quality charter schools throughout this State,
16particularly schools designed to expand opportunities for
17at-risk students, consistent with the purposes of this Article.
18    (c) The Commission shall consist of 9 members, appointed by
19the State Board. The State Board shall make these appointments
20from a slate of candidates proposed by the Governor, within 60
21days after the effective date of this amendatory Act of the
2297th General Assembly with respect to the initial Commission
23members. In making the appointments, the State Board shall



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1ensure statewide geographic diversity among Commission
2members. The Governor shall propose a slate of candidates to
3the State Board within 60 days after the effective date of this
4amendatory Act of the 97th General Assembly and 60 days prior
5to the expiration of the term of a member thereafter. If the
6Governor fails to timely propose a slate of candidates
7according to the provisions of this subsection (c), then the
8State Board may appoint the member or members of the
10    (d) Members appointed to the Commission shall collectively
11possess strong experience and expertise in public and nonprofit
12governance, management and finance, public school leadership,
13higher education, assessments, curriculum and instruction, and
14public education law. All members of the Commission shall have
15demonstrated understanding of and a commitment to public
16education, including without limitation charter schooling. At
17least 3 members must have past experience with urban charter
19    (e) To establish staggered terms of office, the initial
20term of office for 3 Commission members shall be 4 years and
21thereafter shall be 4 years; the initial term of office for
22another 3 members shall be 3 years and thereafter shall be 4
23years; and the initial term of office for the remaining 3
24members shall be 2 years and thereafter shall be 4 years. The
25initial appointments must be made no later than October 1,



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1    (f) Whenever a vacancy on the Commission exists, the State
2Board shall appoint a member for the remaining portion of the
4    (g) Subject to the State Officials and Employees Ethics
5Act, the Commission is authorized to receive and expend gifts,
6grants, and donations of any kind from any public or private
7entity to carry out the purposes of this Article, subject to
8the terms and conditions under which they are given, provided
9that all such terms and conditions are permissible under law.
10Funds received under this subsection (g) must be deposited into
11the State Charter School Commission Fund.
12    The State Charter School Commission Fund is created as a
13special fund in the State treasury. All money in the Fund shall
14be used, subject to appropriation, by the State Board, acting
15on behalf and with the consent of the Commission, for
16operational and administrative costs of the Commission.
17    Subject to appropriation, any funds appropriated for use by
18the State Board, acting on behalf and with the consent of the
19Commission, may be used for the following purposes, without
20limitation: personal services, contractual services, and other
21operational and administrative costs. The State Board is
22further authorized to make expenditures with respect to any
23other amounts deposited in accordance with law into the State
24Charter School Commission Fund.
25    (g-5) Funds or spending authority for the operation and
26administrative costs of the Commission shall be appropriated to



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1the State Board in a separate line item. The State
2Superintendent of Education may not reduce or modify the budget
3of the Commission or use funds appropriated to the Commission
4without the approval of the Commission.
5    (h) The Commission shall operate with dedicated resources
6and staff qualified to execute the day-to-day responsibilities
7of charter school authorizing in accordance with this Article.
8The Commission may employ and fix the compensation of such
9employees and technical assistants as it deems necessary to
10carry out its powers and duties under this Article, without
11regard to the requirements of any civil service or personnel
12statute; and may establish and administer standards of
13classification of all such persons with respect to their
14compensation, duties, performance, and tenure and enter into
15contracts of employment with such persons for such periods and
16on such terms as the Commission deems desirable.
17    (i) Every 2 years, the Commission shall provide to the
18State Board and local school boards a report on best practices
19in charter school authorizing, including without limitation
20evaluating applications, oversight of charters, and renewal of
21charter schools.
22    (j) The Commission may charge a charter school that it
23authorizes a fee, not to exceed 3% of the revenue provided to
24the school, to cover the cost of undertaking the ongoing
25administrative responsibilities of the eligible chartering
26authority with respect to the school. This fee must be



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1deposited into the State Charter School Commission Fund.
2    (k) Any charter school authorized by the State Board prior
3to this amendatory Act of the 97th General Assembly shall have
4its authorization transferred to the Commission upon a vote of
5the State Board, which shall then become the school's
6authorizer for all purposes under this Article. However, in no
7case shall such transfer take place later than July 1, 2012. At
8this time, all of the powers, duties, assets, liabilities,
9contracts, property, records, and pending business of the State
10Board as the school's authorizer must be transferred to the
11Commission. Any charter school authorized by a local school
12board or boards may seek transfer of authorization to the
13Commission during its current term only with the approval of
14the local school board or boards. At the end of its charter
15term, a charter school authorized by a local school board or
16boards must reapply to the board or boards before it may apply
17for authorization to the Commission under the terms of this
18amendatory Act of the 97th General Assembly.
19    On the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 97th
20General Assembly, all rules of the State Board applicable to
21matters falling within the responsibility of the Commission
22shall be applicable to the actions of the Commission. The
23Commission shall thereafter have the authority to propose to
24the State Board modifications to all rules applicable to
25matters falling within the responsibility of the Commission.
26The State Board shall retain rulemaking authority for the



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1Commission, but shall work jointly with the Commission on any
2proposed modifications. Upon recommendation of proposed rule
3modifications by the Commission and pursuant to the Illinois
4Administrative Procedure Act, the State Board shall consider
5such changes within the intent of this amendatory Act of the
697th General Assembly and grant any and all changes consistent
7with that intent.
8    (l) (Blank). The Commission shall have the responsibility
9to consider appeals under this Article immediately upon
10appointment of the initial members of the Commission under
11subsection (c) of this Section. Appeals pending at the time of
12initial appointment shall be determined by the Commission; the
13Commission may extend the time for review as necessary for
14thorough review, but in no case shall the extension exceed the
15time that would have been available had the appeal been
16submitted to the Commission on the date of appointment of its
17initial members. In any appeal filed with the Commission under
18this Article, both the applicant and the school district in
19which the charter school plans to locate shall have the right
20to request a hearing before the Commission. If more than one
21entity requests a hearing, then the Commission may hold only
22one hearing, wherein the applicant and the school district
23shall have an equal opportunity to present their respective
25(Source: P.A. 97-152, eff. 7-20-11; 97-641, eff. 12-19-11;
2697-1156, eff. 1-25-13.)



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1    (105 ILCS 5/27A-8)
2    Sec. 27A-8. Evaluation of charter proposals.
3    (a) This Section does not apply to a charter school
4established by referendum under Section 27A-6.5. In evaluating
5any charter school proposal submitted to it, the local school
6board and the Commission shall give preference to proposals
8        (1) demonstrate a high level of local pupil, parental,
9    community, business, and school personnel support;
10        (2) set rigorous levels of expected pupil achievement
11    and demonstrate feasible plans for attaining those levels
12    of achievement; and
13        (3) are designed to enroll and serve a substantial
14    proportion of at-risk children; provided that nothing in
15    the Charter Schools Law shall be construed as intended to
16    limit the establishment of charter schools to those that
17    serve a substantial portion of at-risk children or to in
18    any manner restrict, limit, or discourage the
19    establishment of charter schools that enroll and serve
20    other pupil populations under a nonexclusive,
21    nondiscriminatory admissions policy.
22    (b) In the case of a proposal to establish a charter school
23by converting an existing public school or attendance center to
24charter school status, evidence that the proposed formation of
25the charter school has received majority support from certified



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1teachers and from parents and guardians in the school or
2attendance center affected by the proposed charter, and, if
3applicable, from a local school council, shall be demonstrated
4by a petition in support of the charter school signed by
5certified teachers and a petition in support of the charter
6school signed by parents and guardians and, if applicable, by a
7vote of the local school council held at a public meeting. In
8the case of all other proposals to establish a charter school,
9evidence of sufficient support to fill the number of pupil
10seats set forth in the proposal may be demonstrated by a
11petition in support of the charter school signed by parents and
12guardians of students eligible to attend the charter school. In
13all cases, the individuals, organizations, or entities who
14initiate the proposal to establish a charter school may elect,
15in lieu of including any petition referred to in this
16subsection as a part of the proposal submitted to the local
17school board, to demonstrate that the charter school has
18received the support referred to in this subsection by other
19evidence and information presented at the public meeting that
20the local school board is required to convene under this
22    (c) Within 45 days of receipt of a charter school proposal,
23the local school board shall convene a public meeting to obtain
24information to assist the board in its decision to grant or
25deny the charter school proposal. A local school board may
26develop its own process for receiving charter school proposals



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1on an annual basis that follows the same timeframes as set
2forth in this Article. Only after the local school board
3process is followed may a charter school applicant appeal to
4the Commission.
5    (d) Notice of the public meeting required by this Section
6shall be published in a community newspaper published in the
7school district in which the proposed charter is located and,
8if there is no such newspaper, then in a newspaper published in
9the county and having circulation in the school district. The
10notices shall be published not more than 10 days nor less than
115 days before the meeting and shall state that information
12regarding a charter school proposal will be heard at the
13meeting. Copies of the notice shall also be posted at
14appropriate locations in the school or attendance center
15proposed to be established as a charter school, the public
16schools in the school district, and the local school board
17office. If 45 days pass without the local school board holding
18a public meeting, then the charter applicant may submit the
19proposal to the Commission, where it must be addressed in
20accordance with the provisions set forth in subsection (g) of
21this Section.
22    (e) Within 30 days of the public meeting, the local school
23board shall vote, in a public meeting, to either grant or deny
24the charter school proposal. If the local school board has not
25voted in a public meeting within 30 days after the public
26meeting, then the charter applicant may submit the proposal to



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1the Commission, where it must be addressed in accordance with
2the provisions set forth in subsection (g) of this Section.
3    (f) Within 7 days of the public meeting required under
4subsection (e) of this Section, the local school board shall
5file a report with the State Board granting or denying the
6proposal. If the local school board has approved the proposal,
7within 30 days of receipt of the local school board's report,
8the State Board shall determine whether the approved charter
9proposal is consistent with the provisions of this Article and,
10if the approved proposal complies, certify the proposal
11pursuant to Section 27A-6.
12    (g) If the charter applicant submits the proposal to the
13Commission as authorized the local school board votes to deny
14the proposal, then the charter school applicant has 30 days
15from the date of that vote to submit an appeal to the
16Commission. In such instances or in those instances referenced
17in subsections (d), and (e), and (i) of this Section, the
18Commission shall follow the same process and be subject to the
19same timelines for review as the local school board.
20    (h) (Blank). The Commission may reverse a local school
21board's decision to deny a charter school proposal if the
22Commission finds that the proposal (i) is in compliance with
23this Article and (ii) is in the best interests of the students
24the charter school is designed to serve. Final decisions of the
25Commission are subject to judicial review under the
26Administrative Review Law.



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1    (i) In the case of a charter school proposed to be jointly
2authorized by 2 or more school districts, the local school
3boards may unanimously deny the charter school proposal with a
4statement that the local school boards are not opposed to the
5charter school, but that they yield to the Commission in light
6of the complexities of joint administration, in which case the
7charter applicant may submit the proposal to the Commission,
8where it must be addressed in accordance with the provisions
9set forth in subsection (g) of this Section.
10(Source: P.A. 96-105, eff. 7-30-09; 96-734, eff. 8-25-09;
1196-1000, eff. 7-2-10; 97-152, eff. 7-20-11.)
12    (105 ILCS 5/27A-9)
13    Sec. 27A-9. Term of charter; renewal.
14    (a) A charter may be granted for a period not less than 5
15and not more than 10 school years. A charter may be renewed in
16incremental periods not to exceed 5 school years.
17    (b) A charter school renewal proposal submitted to the
18local school board or the Commission, as the chartering entity,
19shall contain:
20        (1) A report on the progress of the charter school in
21    achieving the goals, objectives, pupil performance
22    standards, content standards, and other terms of the
23    initial approved charter proposal; and
24        (2) A financial statement that discloses the costs of
25    administration, instruction, and other spending categories



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1    for the charter school that is understandable to the
2    general public and that will allow comparison of those
3    costs to other schools or other comparable organizations,
4    in a format required by the State Board.
5    (c) A charter may be revoked or not renewed if the local
6school board or the Commission, as the chartering entity,
7clearly demonstrates that the charter school did any of the
8following, or otherwise failed to comply with the requirements
9of this law:
10        (1) Committed a material violation of any of the
11    conditions, standards, or procedures set forth in the
12    charter.
13        (2) Failed to meet or make reasonable progress toward
14    achievement of the content standards or pupil performance
15    standards identified in the charter.
16        (3) Failed to meet generally accepted standards of
17    fiscal management.
18        (4) Violated any provision of law from which the
19    charter school was not exempted.
20    In the case of revocation, the local school board or the
21Commission, as the chartering entity, shall notify the charter
22school in writing of the reason why the charter is subject to
23revocation. The charter school shall submit a written plan to
24the local school board or the Commission, whichever is
25applicable, to rectify the problem. The plan shall include a
26timeline for implementation, which shall not exceed 2 years or



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1the date of the charter's expiration, whichever is earlier. If
2the local school board or the Commission, as the chartering
3entity, finds that the charter school has failed to implement
4the plan of remediation and adhere to the timeline, then the
5chartering entity shall revoke the charter. Except in
6situations of an emergency where the health, safety, or
7education of the charter school's students is at risk, the
8revocation shall take place at the end of a school year.
9Nothing in this amendatory Act of the 96th General Assembly
10shall be construed to prohibit an implementation timetable that
11is less than 2 years in duration.
12    (d) (Blank).
13    (e) (Blank). Notice of a local school board's decision to
14deny, revoke or not to renew a charter shall be provided to the
15Commission and the State Board. The Commission may reverse a
16local board's decision if the Commission finds that the charter
17school or charter school proposal (i) is in compliance with
18this Article, and (ii) is in the best interests of the students
19it is designed to serve. The State Board may condition the
20granting of an appeal on the acceptance by the charter school
21of funding in an amount less than that requested in the
22proposal submitted to the local school board. Final decisions
23of the Commission shall be subject to judicial review under the
24Administrative Review Law.
25    (f) Notwithstanding other provisions of this Article, if
26the Commission on appeal reverses a local board's decision or



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1if a charter school is approved by referendum under Section
227A-6.5 of this Code, the Commission shall act as the
3authorized chartering entity for the charter school. The
4Commission shall approve the charter and shall perform all
5functions under this Article otherwise performed by the local
6school board. The State Board shall determine whether the
7charter proposal approved by the Commission is consistent with
8the provisions of this Article and, if the approved proposal
9complies, certify the proposal pursuant to this Article. The
10State Board shall report the aggregate number of charter school
11pupils resident in a school district to that district and shall
12notify the district of the amount of funding to be paid by the
13Commission to the charter school enrolling such students. The
14Commission shall require the charter school to maintain
15accurate records of daily attendance that shall be deemed
16sufficient to file claims under Section 18-8.05
17notwithstanding any other requirements of that Section
18regarding hours of instruction and teacher certification. The
19State Board shall withhold from funds otherwise due the
20district the funds authorized by this Article to be paid to the
21charter school and shall pay such amounts to the charter
23    (g) For charter schools authorized by the Commission, the
24Commission shall quarterly certify to the State Board the
25student enrollment for each of its charter schools.
26    (h) For charter schools authorized by the Commission, the



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1State Board shall pay directly to a charter school any federal
2or State aid attributable to a student with a disability
3attending the school.
4(Source: P.A. 96-105, eff. 7-30-09; 97-152, eff. 7-20-11.)