Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HB0397
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Full Text of HB0397  99th General Assembly


Rep. Emanuel Chris Welch

Filed: 2/27/2015





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2    AMENDMENT NO. ______. Amend House Bill 397 by replacing
3everything after the enacting clause with the following:
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



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1at-risk students, consistent with the purposes of this Article.
2    (c) The Commission shall consist of 9 members, appointed by
3the State Board. The State Board shall make these appointments
4from a slate of candidates proposed by the Governor, within 60
5days after the effective date of this amendatory Act of the
697th General Assembly with respect to the initial Commission
7members. In making the appointments, the State Board shall
8ensure statewide geographic diversity among Commission
9members. The Governor shall propose a slate of candidates to
10the State Board within 60 days after the effective date of this
11amendatory Act of the 97th General Assembly and 60 days prior
12to the expiration of the term of a member thereafter. If the
13Governor fails to timely propose a slate of candidates
14according to the provisions of this subsection (c), then the
15State Board may appoint the member or members of the
17    (d) Members appointed to the Commission shall collectively
18possess strong experience and expertise in public and nonprofit
19governance, management and finance, public school leadership,
20higher education, assessments, curriculum and instruction, and
21public education law. All members of the Commission shall have
22demonstrated understanding of and a commitment to public
23education, including without limitation charter schooling. At
24least 3 members must have past experience with urban charter
26    (e) To establish staggered terms of office, the initial



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1term of office for 3 Commission members shall be 4 years and
2thereafter shall be 4 years; the initial term of office for
3another 3 members shall be 3 years and thereafter shall be 4
4years; and the initial term of office for the remaining 3
5members shall be 2 years and thereafter shall be 4 years. The
6initial appointments must be made no later than October 1,
8    (f) Whenever a vacancy on the Commission exists, the State
9Board shall appoint a member for the remaining portion of the
11    (g) Subject to the State Officials and Employees Ethics
12Act, the Commission is authorized to receive and expend gifts,
13grants, and donations of any kind from any public or private
14entity to carry out the purposes of this Article, subject to
15the terms and conditions under which they are given, provided
16that all such terms and conditions are permissible under law.
17Funds received under this subsection (g) must be deposited into
18the State Charter School Commission Fund.
19    The State Charter School Commission Fund is created as a
20special fund in the State treasury. All money in the Fund shall
21be used, subject to appropriation, by the State Board, acting
22on behalf and with the consent of the Commission, for
23operational and administrative costs of the Commission.
24    Subject to appropriation, any funds appropriated for use by
25the State Board, acting on behalf and with the consent of the
26Commission, may be used for the following purposes, without



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1limitation: personal services, contractual services, and other
2operational and administrative costs. The State Board is
3further authorized to make expenditures with respect to any
4other amounts deposited in accordance with law into the State
5Charter School Commission Fund.
6    (g-5) Funds or spending authority for the operation and
7administrative costs of the Commission shall be appropriated to
8the State Board in a separate line item. The State
9Superintendent of Education may not reduce or modify the budget
10of the Commission or use funds appropriated to the Commission
11without the approval of the Commission.
12    (h) The Commission shall operate with dedicated resources
13and staff qualified to execute the day-to-day responsibilities
14of charter school authorizing in accordance with this Article.
15The Commission may employ and fix the compensation of such
16employees and technical assistants as it deems necessary to
17carry out its powers and duties under this Article, without
18regard to the requirements of any civil service or personnel
19statute; and may establish and administer standards of
20classification of all such persons with respect to their
21compensation, duties, performance, and tenure and enter into
22contracts of employment with such persons for such periods and
23on such terms as the Commission deems desirable.
24    (i) Every 2 years, the Commission shall provide to the
25State Board and local school boards a report on best practices
26in charter school authorizing, including without limitation



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1evaluating applications, oversight of charters, and renewal of
2charter schools.
3    (j) The Commission may charge a charter school that it
4authorizes a fee, not to exceed 3% of the revenue provided to
5the school, to cover the cost of undertaking the ongoing
6administrative responsibilities of the eligible chartering
7authority with respect to the school. This fee must be
8deposited into the State Charter School Commission Fund.
9    (k) Any charter school authorized by the State Board prior
10to this amendatory Act of the 97th General Assembly shall have
11its authorization transferred to the Commission upon a vote of
12the State Board, which shall then become the school's
13authorizer for all purposes under this Article. However, in no
14case shall such transfer take place later than July 1, 2012. At
15this time, all of the powers, duties, assets, liabilities,
16contracts, property, records, and pending business of the State
17Board as the school's authorizer must be transferred to the
18Commission. Any charter school authorized by a local school
19board or boards may seek transfer of authorization to the
20Commission during its current term only with the approval of
21the local school board or boards. At the end of its charter
22term, a charter school authorized by a local school board or
23boards must reapply to the board or boards before it may apply
24for authorization to the Commission under the terms of this
25amendatory Act of the 97th General Assembly.
26    On the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 97th



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1General Assembly, all rules of the State Board applicable to
2matters falling within the responsibility of the Commission
3shall be applicable to the actions of the Commission. The
4Commission shall thereafter have the authority to propose to
5the State Board modifications to all rules applicable to
6matters falling within the responsibility of the Commission.
7The State Board shall retain rulemaking authority for the
8Commission, but shall work jointly with the Commission on any
9proposed modifications. Upon recommendation of proposed rule
10modifications by the Commission and pursuant to the Illinois
11Administrative Procedure Act, the State Board shall consider
12such changes within the intent of this amendatory Act of the
1397th General Assembly and grant any and all changes consistent
14with that intent.
15    (l) (Blank). The Commission shall have the responsibility
16to consider appeals under this Article immediately upon
17appointment of the initial members of the Commission under
18subsection (c) of this Section. Appeals pending at the time of
19initial appointment shall be determined by the Commission; the
20Commission may extend the time for review as necessary for
21thorough review, but in no case shall the extension exceed the
22time that would have been available had the appeal been
23submitted to the Commission on the date of appointment of its
24initial members. In any appeal filed with the Commission under
25this Article, both the applicant and the school district in
26which the charter school plans to locate shall have the right



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1to request a hearing before the Commission. If more than one
2entity requests a hearing, then the Commission may hold only
3one hearing, wherein the applicant and the school district
4shall have an equal opportunity to present their respective
6(Source: P.A. 97-152, eff. 7-20-11; 97-641, eff. 12-19-11;
797-1156, eff. 1-25-13.)
8    (105 ILCS 5/27A-8)
9    Sec. 27A-8. Evaluation of charter proposals.
10    (a) This Section does not apply to a charter school
11established by referendum under Section 27A-6.5. In evaluating
12any charter school proposal submitted to it, the local school
13board and the Commission shall give preference to proposals
15        (1) demonstrate a high level of local pupil, parental,
16    community, business, and school personnel support;
17        (2) set rigorous levels of expected pupil achievement
18    and demonstrate feasible plans for attaining those levels
19    of achievement; and
20        (3) are designed to enroll and serve a substantial
21    proportion of at-risk children; provided that nothing in
22    the Charter Schools Law shall be construed as intended to
23    limit the establishment of charter schools to those that
24    serve a substantial portion of at-risk children or to in
25    any manner restrict, limit, or discourage the



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1    establishment of charter schools that enroll and serve
2    other pupil populations under a nonexclusive,
3    nondiscriminatory admissions policy.
4    (b) In the case of a proposal to establish a charter school
5by converting an existing public school or attendance center to
6charter school status, evidence that the proposed formation of
7the charter school has received majority support from certified
8teachers and from parents and guardians in the school or
9attendance center affected by the proposed charter, and, if
10applicable, from a local school council, shall be demonstrated
11by a petition in support of the charter school signed by
12certified teachers and a petition in support of the charter
13school signed by parents and guardians and, if applicable, by a
14vote of the local school council held at a public meeting. In
15the case of all other proposals to establish a charter school,
16evidence of sufficient support to fill the number of pupil
17seats set forth in the proposal may be demonstrated by a
18petition in support of the charter school signed by parents and
19guardians of students eligible to attend the charter school. In
20all cases, the individuals, organizations, or entities who
21initiate the proposal to establish a charter school may elect,
22in lieu of including any petition referred to in this
23subsection as a part of the proposal submitted to the local
24school board, to demonstrate that the charter school has
25received the support referred to in this subsection by other
26evidence and information presented at the public meeting that



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1the local school board is required to convene under this
3    (c) Within 45 days of receipt of a charter school proposal,
4the local school board shall convene a public meeting to obtain
5information to assist the board in its decision to grant or
6deny the charter school proposal. A local school board may
7develop its own process for receiving charter school proposals
8on an annual basis that follows the same timeframes as set
9forth in this Article. If a charter school applicant submits a
10proposal to a local school board outside of the process adopted
11by that local school board for receiving charter school
12proposals on an annual basis, the applicant shall not have any
13right to submit its proposal to the Commission as otherwise
14authorized in subsections (d) and (e) of this Section. Only
15after the local school board process is followed may a charter
16school applicant appeal to the Commission.
17    (d) Notice of the public meeting required by this Section
18shall be published in a community newspaper published in the
19school district in which the proposed charter is located and,
20if there is no such newspaper, then in a newspaper published in
21the county and having circulation in the school district. The
22notices shall be published not more than 10 days nor less than
235 days before the meeting and shall state that information
24regarding a charter school proposal will be heard at the
25meeting. Copies of the notice shall also be posted at
26appropriate locations in the school or attendance center



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1proposed to be established as a charter school, the public
2schools in the school district, and the local school board
3office. If 45 days pass without the local school board holding
4a public meeting, then the charter applicant may submit the
5proposal to the Commission, where it must be addressed in
6accordance with the provisions set forth in subsection (g) of
7this Section.
8    (e) Within 30 days of the public meeting, the local school
9board shall vote, in a public meeting, to either grant or deny
10the charter school proposal. If the local school board has not
11voted in a public meeting within 30 days after the public
12meeting, then the charter applicant may submit the proposal to
13the Commission, where it must be addressed in accordance with
14the provisions set forth in subsection (g) of this Section.
15    (f) Within 7 days of the public meeting required under
16subsection (e) of this Section, the local school board shall
17file a report with the State Board granting or denying the
18proposal. If the local school board has approved the proposal,
19within 30 days of receipt of the local school board's report,
20the State Board shall determine whether the approved charter
21proposal is consistent with the provisions of this Article and,
22if the approved proposal complies, certify the proposal
23pursuant to Section 27A-6.
24    (g) If the charter applicant submits the proposal to the
25Commission as authorized the local school board votes to deny
26the proposal, then the charter school applicant has 30 days



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1from the date of that vote to submit an appeal to the
2Commission. In such instances or in those instances referenced
3in subsections (d), and (e), and (i) of this Section, the
4Commission shall follow the same process and be subject to the
5same timelines for review as the local school board.
6    (h) The Commission may approve a charter school proposal
7submitted to it in accordance with subsection (d), (e), or (i)
8of this Section The Commission may reverse a local school
9board's decision to deny a charter school proposal if the
10Commission finds that the proposal (i) is in compliance with
11this Article and (ii) is in the best interests of the students
12the charter school is designed to serve. Final decisions of the
13Commission are subject to judicial review under the
14Administrative Review Law.
15    (i) In the case of a charter school proposed to be jointly
16authorized by 2 or more school districts, the local school
17boards may unanimously deny the charter school proposal with a
18statement that the local school boards are not opposed to the
19charter school, but that they yield to the Commission in light
20of the complexities of joint administration, in which case the
21charter applicant may submit the proposal to the Commission,
22where it must be addressed in accordance with the provisions
23set forth in subsection (g) of this Section.
24(Source: P.A. 96-105, eff. 7-30-09; 96-734, eff. 8-25-09;
2596-1000, eff. 7-2-10; 97-152, eff. 7-20-11.)



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1    (105 ILCS 5/27A-9)
2    Sec. 27A-9. Term of charter; renewal.
3    (a) A charter may be granted for a period not less than 5
4and not more than 10 school years. A charter may be renewed in
5incremental periods not to exceed 5 school years.
6    (b) A charter school renewal proposal submitted to the
7local school board or the Commission, as the chartering entity,
8shall contain:
9        (1) A report on the progress of the charter school in
10    achieving the goals, objectives, pupil performance
11    standards, content standards, and other terms of the
12    initial approved charter proposal; and
13        (2) A financial statement that discloses the costs of
14    administration, instruction, and other spending categories
15    for the charter school that is understandable to the
16    general public and that will allow comparison of those
17    costs to other schools or other comparable organizations,
18    in a format required by the State Board.
19    (c) A charter may be revoked or not renewed if the local
20school board or the Commission, as the chartering entity,
21clearly demonstrates that the charter school did any of the
22following, or otherwise failed to comply with the requirements
23of this law:
24        (1) Committed a material violation of any of the
25    conditions, standards, or procedures set forth in the
26    charter.



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1        (2) Failed to meet or make reasonable progress toward
2    achievement of the content standards or pupil performance
3    standards identified in the charter.
4        (3) Failed to meet generally accepted standards of
5    fiscal management.
6        (4) Violated any provision of law from which the
7    charter school was not exempted.
8    In the case of revocation, the local school board or the
9Commission, as the chartering entity, shall notify the charter
10school in writing of the reason why the charter is subject to
11revocation. The charter school shall submit a written plan to
12the local school board or the Commission, whichever is
13applicable, to rectify the problem. The plan shall include a
14timeline for implementation, which shall not exceed 2 years or
15the date of the charter's expiration, whichever is earlier. If
16the local school board or the Commission, as the chartering
17entity, finds that the charter school has failed to implement
18the plan of remediation and adhere to the timeline, then the
19chartering entity shall revoke the charter. Except in
20situations of an emergency where the health, safety, or
21education of the charter school's students is at risk, the
22revocation shall take place at the end of a school year.
23Nothing in this amendatory Act of the 96th General Assembly
24shall be construed to prohibit an implementation timetable that
25is less than 2 years in duration.
26    (d) (Blank).



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1    (e) The Commission may approve an application for a charter
2submitted to it in accordance with this Article Notice of a
3local school board's decision to deny, revoke or not to renew a
4charter shall be provided to the Commission and the State
5Board. The Commission may reverse a local board's decision if
6the Commission finds that the charter school or charter school
7proposal (i) is in compliance with this Article, and (ii) is in
8the best interests of the students it is designed to serve. The
9Commission may condition approval of a charter school
10application The Commission may condition the granting of an
11appeal on the acceptance by the charter school of funding in an
12amount less than that requested in the proposal submitted to
13the local school board. Final decisions of the Commission are
14shall be subject to judicial review under the Administrative
15Review Law.
16    (f) Notwithstanding other provisions of this Article, if
17the Commission approves an application for a charter submitted
18to it in accordance with this Article or on appeal reverses a
19local board's decision or if a charter school is approved by
20referendum under Section 27A-6.5 of this Code, the Commission
21shall act as the authorized chartering entity for the charter
22school. The Commission shall execute a approve the charter
23agreement and shall perform all functions under this Article
24otherwise performed by the local school board. The State Board
25shall determine whether the charter proposal approved by the
26Commission is consistent with the provisions of this Article



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1and, if the approved proposal complies, certify the proposal
2pursuant to this Article. The State Board shall report the
3aggregate number of charter school pupils resident in a school
4district to that district and shall notify the district of the
5amount of funding to be paid by the State Board to the charter
6school enrolling such students. The Commission shall require
7the charter school to maintain accurate records of daily
8attendance that shall be deemed sufficient to file claims under
9Section 18-8.05 notwithstanding any other requirements of that
10Section regarding hours of instruction and teacher
11certification. The State Board shall withhold from funds
12otherwise due the district the funds authorized by this Article
13to be paid to the charter school and shall pay such amounts to
14the charter school.
15    (g) For charter schools authorized by the Commission, the
16Commission shall quarterly certify to the State Board the
17student enrollment for each of its charter schools.
18    (h) For charter schools authorized by the Commission, the
19State Board shall pay directly to a charter school any federal
20or State aid attributable to a student with a disability
21attending the school.
22    (i) The Commission has no authority under subsection (e) of
23this Section to approve a charter school proposal that has been
24denied by the local school board.
25(Source: P.A. 97-152, eff. 7-20-11; 98-739, eff. 7-16-14.)



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1    Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon
2becoming law.".