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


Rep. Emanuel Chris Welch

Filed: 3/17/2015





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2    AMENDMENT NO. ______. Amend House Bill 397, AS AMENDED, by
3replacing everything after the enacting clause with the
5    "Section 5. The School Code is amended by changing Sections
627A-7.5, 27A-8, and 27A-9 as follows:
7    (105 ILCS 5/27A-7.5)
8    Sec. 27A-7.5. State Charter School Commission.
9    (a) A State Charter School Commission is established as an
10independent commission with statewide chartering jurisdiction
11and authority. The Commission shall be under the State Board
12for administrative purposes only.
13    (a-5) The State Board shall provide administrative support
14to the Commission as needed.
15    (b) The Commission is responsible for authorizing
16high-quality charter schools throughout this State,



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1particularly schools designed to expand opportunities for
2at-risk students, consistent with the purposes of this Article.
3    (c) The Commission shall consist of 9 members, appointed by
4the State Board. The State Board shall make these appointments
5from a slate of candidates proposed by the Governor, within 60
6days after the effective date of this amendatory Act of the
797th General Assembly with respect to the initial Commission
8members. In making the appointments, the State Board shall
9ensure statewide geographic diversity among Commission
10members. The Governor shall propose a slate of candidates to
11the State Board within 60 days after the effective date of this
12amendatory Act of the 97th General Assembly and 60 days prior
13to the expiration of the term of a member thereafter. If the
14Governor fails to timely propose a slate of candidates
15according to the provisions of this subsection (c), then the
16State Board may appoint the member or members of the
18    (d) Members appointed to the Commission shall collectively
19possess strong experience and expertise in public and nonprofit
20governance, management and finance, public school leadership,
21higher education, assessments, curriculum and instruction, and
22public education law. All members of the Commission shall have
23demonstrated understanding of and a commitment to public
24education, including without limitation charter schooling. At
25least 3 members must have past experience with urban charter



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1    (e) To establish staggered terms of office, the initial
2term of office for 3 Commission members shall be 4 years and
3thereafter shall be 4 years; the initial term of office for
4another 3 members shall be 3 years and thereafter shall be 4
5years; and the initial term of office for the remaining 3
6members shall be 2 years and thereafter shall be 4 years. The
7initial appointments must be made no later than October 1,
9    (f) Whenever a vacancy on the Commission exists, the State
10Board shall appoint a member for the remaining portion of the
12    (g) Subject to the State Officials and Employees Ethics
13Act, the Commission is authorized to receive and expend gifts,
14grants, and donations of any kind from any public or private
15entity to carry out the purposes of this Article, subject to
16the terms and conditions under which they are given, provided
17that all such terms and conditions are permissible under law.
18Funds received under this subsection (g) must be deposited into
19the State Charter School Commission Fund.
20    The State Charter School Commission Fund is created as a
21special fund in the State treasury. All money in the Fund shall
22be used, subject to appropriation, by the State Board, acting
23on behalf and with the consent of the Commission, for
24operational and administrative costs of the Commission.
25    Subject to appropriation, any funds appropriated for use by
26the State Board, acting on behalf and with the consent of the



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



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1in charter school authorizing, including without limitation
2evaluating applications, oversight of charters, and renewal of
3charter schools.
4    (j) The Commission may charge a charter school that it
5authorizes a fee, not to exceed 3% of the revenue provided to
6the school, to cover the cost of undertaking the ongoing
7administrative responsibilities of the eligible chartering
8authority with respect to the school. This fee must be
9deposited into the State Charter School Commission Fund.
10    (k) Any charter school authorized by the State Board prior
11to this amendatory Act of the 97th General Assembly shall have
12its authorization transferred to the Commission upon a vote of
13the State Board, which shall then become the school's
14authorizer for all purposes under this Article. However, in no
15case shall such transfer take place later than July 1, 2012. At
16this time, all of the powers, duties, assets, liabilities,
17contracts, property, records, and pending business of the State
18Board as the school's authorizer must be transferred to the
19Commission. Any charter school authorized by a local school
20board or boards may seek transfer of authorization to the
21Commission during its current term only with the approval of
22the local school board or boards. At the end of its charter
23term, a charter school authorized by a local school board or
24boards must reapply to the board or boards before it may apply
25for authorization to the Commission under the terms of this
26amendatory Act of the 97th General Assembly.



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1    On the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 97th
2General Assembly, all rules of the State Board applicable to
3matters falling within the responsibility of the Commission
4shall be applicable to the actions of the Commission. The
5Commission shall thereafter have the authority to propose to
6the State Board modifications to all rules applicable to
7matters falling within the responsibility of the Commission.
8The State Board shall retain rulemaking authority for the
9Commission, but shall work jointly with the Commission on any
10proposed modifications. Upon recommendation of proposed rule
11modifications by the Commission and pursuant to the Illinois
12Administrative Procedure Act, the State Board shall consider
13such changes within the intent of this amendatory Act of the
1497th General Assembly and grant any and all changes consistent
15with that intent.
16    (l) (Blank). The Commission shall have the responsibility
17to consider appeals under this Article immediately upon
18appointment of the initial members of the Commission under
19subsection (c) of this Section. Appeals pending at the time of
20initial appointment shall be determined by the Commission; the
21Commission may extend the time for review as necessary for
22thorough review, but in no case shall the extension exceed the
23time that would have been available had the appeal been
24submitted to the Commission on the date of appointment of its
25initial members. In any appeal filed with the Commission under
26this Article, both the applicant and the school district in



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1which the charter school plans to locate shall have the right
2to request a hearing before the Commission. If more than one
3entity requests a hearing, then the Commission may hold only
4one hearing, wherein the applicant and the school district
5shall have an equal opportunity to present their respective
7(Source: P.A. 97-152, eff. 7-20-11; 97-641, eff. 12-19-11;
897-1156, eff. 1-25-13.)
9    (105 ILCS 5/27A-8)
10    Sec. 27A-8. Evaluation of charter proposals.
11    (a) This Section does not apply to a charter school
12established by referendum under Section 27A-6.5. In evaluating
13any charter school proposal submitted to it, the local school
14board and the Commission shall give preference to proposals
16        (1) demonstrate a high level of local pupil, parental,
17    community, business, and school personnel support;
18        (2) set rigorous levels of expected pupil achievement
19    and demonstrate feasible plans for attaining those levels
20    of achievement; and
21        (3) are designed to enroll and serve a substantial
22    proportion of at-risk children; provided that nothing in
23    the Charter Schools Law shall be construed as intended to
24    limit the establishment of charter schools to those that
25    serve a substantial portion of at-risk children or to in



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



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1evidence and information presented at the public meeting that
2the local school board is required to convene under this
4    (c) Within 45 days of receipt of a charter school proposal,
5the local school board shall convene a public meeting to obtain
6information to assist the board in its decision to grant or
7deny the charter school proposal. A local school board may
8develop its own process for receiving charter school proposals
9on an annual basis that follows the same timeframes as set
10forth in this Article. Final decisions of a local school board
11are subject to judicial review under the Administrative Review
12Law. If a charter school applicant submits a proposal to a
13local school board outside of the process adopted by that local
14school board for receiving charter school proposals on an
15annual basis, the applicant shall not have any right to submit
16its proposal to the Commission as otherwise authorized in
17subsections (d) and (e) of this Section. Only after the local
18school board process is followed may a charter school applicant
19appeal to the Commission.
20    (d) Notice of the public meeting required by this Section
21shall be published in a community newspaper published in the
22school district in which the proposed charter is located and,
23if there is no such newspaper, then in a newspaper published in
24the county and having circulation in the school district. The
25notices shall be published not more than 10 days nor less than
265 days before the meeting and shall state that information



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



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1    (g) If the charter applicant submits the proposal to the
2Commission as authorized the local school board votes to deny
3the proposal, then the charter school applicant has 30 days
4from the date of that vote to submit an appeal to the
5Commission. In such instances or in those instances referenced
6in subsections (d), and (e), and (i) of this Section, the
7Commission shall follow the same process and be subject to the
8same timelines for review as the local school board.
9    (h) The Commission may approve a charter school proposal
10submitted to it in accordance with subsection (d), (e), or (i)
11of this Section The Commission may reverse a local school
12board's decision to deny a charter school proposal if the
13Commission finds that the proposal (i) is in compliance with
14this Article and (ii) is in the best interests of the students
15the charter school is designed to serve. Final decisions of the
16Commission are subject to judicial review under the
17Administrative Review Law.
18    (i) In the case of a charter school proposed to be jointly
19authorized by 2 or more school districts, the local school
20boards may unanimously deny the charter school proposal with a
21statement that the local school boards are not opposed to the
22charter school, but that they yield to the Commission in light
23of the complexities of joint administration, in which case the
24charter applicant may submit the proposal to the Commission,
25where it must be addressed in accordance with the provisions
26set forth in subsection (g) of this Section.



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1(Source: P.A. 96-105, eff. 7-30-09; 96-734, eff. 8-25-09;
296-1000, eff. 7-2-10; 97-152, eff. 7-20-11.)
3    (105 ILCS 5/27A-9)
4    Sec. 27A-9. Term of charter; renewal.
5    (a) A charter may be granted for a period not less than 5
6and not more than 10 school years. A charter may be renewed in
7incremental periods not to exceed 5 school years.
8    (b) A charter school renewal proposal submitted to the
9local school board or the Commission, as the chartering entity,
10shall contain:
11        (1) A report on the progress of the charter school in
12    achieving the goals, objectives, pupil performance
13    standards, content standards, and other terms of the
14    initial approved charter proposal; and
15        (2) A financial statement that discloses the costs of
16    administration, instruction, and other spending categories
17    for the charter school that is understandable to the
18    general public and that will allow comparison of those
19    costs to other schools or other comparable organizations,
20    in a format required by the State Board.
21    (c) A charter may be revoked or not renewed if the local
22school board or the Commission, as the chartering entity,
23clearly demonstrates that the charter school did any of the
24following, or otherwise failed to comply with the requirements
25of this law:



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



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



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1otherwise performed by the local school board. The State Board
2shall determine whether the charter proposal approved by the
3Commission is consistent with the provisions of this Article
4and, if the approved proposal complies, certify the proposal
5pursuant to this Article. The State Board shall report the
6aggregate number of charter school pupils resident in a school
7district to that district and shall notify the district of the
8amount of funding to be paid by the State Board to the charter
9school enrolling such students. The Commission shall require
10the charter school to maintain accurate records of daily
11attendance that shall be deemed sufficient to file claims under
12Section 18-8.05 notwithstanding any other requirements of that
13Section regarding hours of instruction and teacher
14certification. The State Board shall withhold from funds
15otherwise due the district the funds authorized by this Article
16to be paid to the charter school and shall pay such amounts to
17the charter school.
18    (g) For charter schools authorized by the Commission, the
19Commission shall quarterly certify to the State Board the
20student enrollment for each of its charter schools.
21    (h) For charter schools authorized by the Commission, the
22State Board shall pay directly to a charter school any federal
23or State aid attributable to a student with a disability
24attending the school.
25    (i) The Commission has no authority under subsection (e) of
26this Section to approve a charter school proposal that has been



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1denied by the local school board.
2(Source: P.A. 97-152, eff. 7-20-11; 98-739, eff. 7-16-14.)
3    Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon
4becoming law.".