State of Illinois
2021 and 2022


Introduced 2/19/2021, by Rep. Sonya M. Harper


105 ILCS 5/27A-5

    Amends the Charter Schools Law of the School Code. With respect to a charter school's retention of an outside, independent contractor to audit the charter school's finances, provides that the contractor shall not be an employee of the charter school or affiliated with the charter school or its authorizer in any way, other than to audit the charter school's finances. Effective July 1, 2021.

LRB102 14178 CMG 19530 b





HB2795LRB102 14178 CMG 19530 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 Section
527A-5 as follows:
6    (105 ILCS 5/27A-5)
7    Sec. 27A-5. Charter school; legal entity; requirements.
8    (a) A charter school shall be a public, nonsectarian,
9nonreligious, non-home based, and non-profit school. A charter
10school shall be organized and operated as a nonprofit
11corporation or other discrete, legal, nonprofit entity
12authorized under the laws of the State of Illinois.
13    (b) A charter school may be established under this Article
14by creating a new school or by converting an existing public
15school or attendance center to charter school status.
16Beginning on April 16, 2003 (the effective date of Public Act
1793-3), in all new applications to establish a charter school
18in a city having a population exceeding 500,000, operation of
19the charter school shall be limited to one campus. The changes
20made to this Section by Public Act 93-3 do not apply to charter
21schools existing or approved on or before April 16, 2003 (the
22effective date of Public Act 93-3).
23    (b-5) In this subsection (b-5), "virtual-schooling" means



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1a cyber school where students engage in online curriculum and
2instruction via the Internet and electronic communication with
3their teachers at remote locations and with students
4participating at different times.
5    From April 1, 2013 through December 31, 2016, there is a
6moratorium on the establishment of charter schools with
7virtual-schooling components in school districts other than a
8school district organized under Article 34 of this Code. This
9moratorium does not apply to a charter school with
10virtual-schooling components existing or approved prior to
11April 1, 2013 or to the renewal of the charter of a charter
12school with virtual-schooling components already approved
13prior to April 1, 2013.
14    (c) A charter school shall be administered and governed by
15its board of directors or other governing body in the manner
16provided in its charter. The governing body of a charter
17school shall be subject to the Freedom of Information Act and
18the Open Meetings Act. No later than January 1, 2021 (one year
19after the effective date of Public Act 101-291) this
20amendatory Act of the 101st General Assembly, a charter
21school's board of directors or other governing body must
22include at least one parent or guardian of a pupil currently
23enrolled in the charter school who may be selected through the
24charter school or a charter network election, appointment by
25the charter school's board of directors or other governing
26body, or by the charter school's Parent Teacher Organization



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1or its equivalent.
2    (c-5) No later than January 1, 2021 (one year after the
3effective date of Public Act 101-291) this amendatory Act of
4the 101st General Assembly or within the first year of his or
5her first term, every voting member of a charter school's
6board of directors or other governing body shall complete a
7minimum of 4 hours of professional development leadership
8training to ensure that each member has sufficient familiarity
9with the board's or governing body's role and
10responsibilities, including financial oversight and
11accountability of the school, evaluating the principal's and
12school's performance, adherence to the Freedom of Information
13Act and the Open Meetings Act Acts, and compliance with
14education and labor law. In each subsequent year of his or her
15term, a voting member of a charter school's board of directors
16or other governing body shall complete a minimum of 2 hours of
17professional development training in these same areas. The
18training under this subsection may be provided or certified by
19a statewide charter school membership association or may be
20provided or certified by other qualified providers approved by
21the State Board of Education.
22    (d) For purposes of this subsection (d), "non-curricular
23health and safety requirement" means any health and safety
24requirement created by statute or rule to provide, maintain,
25preserve, or safeguard safe or healthful conditions for
26students and school personnel or to eliminate, reduce, or



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1prevent threats to the health and safety of students and
2school personnel. "Non-curricular health and safety
3requirement" does not include any course of study or
4specialized instructional requirement for which the State
5Board has established goals and learning standards or which is
6designed primarily to impart knowledge and skills for students
7to master and apply as an outcome of their education.
8    A charter school shall comply with all non-curricular
9health and safety requirements applicable to public schools
10under the laws of the State of Illinois. On or before September
111, 2015, the State Board shall promulgate and post on its
12Internet website a list of non-curricular health and safety
13requirements that a charter school must meet. The list shall
14be updated annually no later than September 1. Any charter
15contract between a charter school and its authorizer must
16contain a provision that requires the charter school to follow
17the list of all non-curricular health and safety requirements
18promulgated by the State Board and any non-curricular health
19and safety requirements added by the State Board to such list
20during the term of the charter. Nothing in this subsection (d)
21precludes an authorizer from including non-curricular health
22and safety requirements in a charter school contract that are
23not contained in the list promulgated by the State Board,
24including non-curricular health and safety requirements of the
25authorizing local school board.
26    (e) Except as otherwise provided in the School Code, a



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1charter school shall not charge tuition; provided that a
2charter school may charge reasonable fees for textbooks,
3instructional materials, and student activities.
4    (f) A charter school shall be responsible for the
5management and operation of its fiscal affairs, including, but
6not limited to, the preparation of its budget. An audit of each
7charter school's finances shall be conducted annually by an
8outside, independent contractor retained by the charter
9school. The contractor shall not be an employee of the charter
10school or affiliated with the charter school or its authorizer
11in any way, other than to audit the charter school's finances.
12To ensure financial accountability for the use of public
13funds, on or before December 1 of every year of operation, each
14charter school shall submit to its authorizer and the State
15Board a copy of its audit and a copy of the Form 990 the
16charter school filed that year with the federal Internal
17Revenue Service. In addition, if deemed necessary for proper
18financial oversight of the charter school, an authorizer may
19require quarterly financial statements from each charter
21    (g) A charter school shall comply with all provisions of
22this Article, the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Act,
23all federal and State laws and rules applicable to public
24schools that pertain to special education and the instruction
25of English learners, and its charter. A charter school is
26exempt from all other State laws and regulations in this Code



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1governing public schools and local school board policies;
2however, a charter school is not exempt from the following:
3        (1) Sections 10-21.9 and 34-18.5 of this Code
4    regarding criminal history records checks and checks of
5    the Statewide Sex Offender Database and Statewide Murderer
6    and Violent Offender Against Youth Database of applicants
7    for employment;
8        (2) Sections 10-20.14, 10-22.6, 24-24, 34-19, and
9    34-84a of this Code regarding discipline of students;
10        (3) the Local Governmental and Governmental Employees
11    Tort Immunity Act;
12        (4) Section 108.75 of the General Not For Profit
13    Corporation Act of 1986 regarding indemnification of
14    officers, directors, employees, and agents;
15        (5) the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act;
16        (5.5) subsection (b) of Section 10-23.12 and
17    subsection (b) of Section 34-18.6 of this Code;
18        (6) the Illinois School Student Records Act;
19        (7) Section 10-17a of this Code regarding school
20    report cards;
21        (8) the P-20 Longitudinal Education Data System Act;
22        (9) Section 27-23.7 of this Code regarding bullying
23    prevention;
24        (10) Section 2-3.162 of this Code regarding student
25    discipline reporting;
26        (11) Sections 22-80 and 27-8.1 of this Code;



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1        (12) Sections 10-20.60 and 34-18.53 of this Code;
2        (13) Sections 10-20.63 and 34-18.56 of this Code;
3        (14) Section 26-18 of this Code;
4        (15) Section 22-30 of this Code; and
5        (16) Sections 24-12 and 34-85 of this Code; and .
6        (17) the (16) The Seizure Smart School Act.
7    The change made by Public Act 96-104 to this subsection
8(g) is declaratory of existing law.
9    (h) A charter school may negotiate and contract with a
10school district, the governing body of a State college or
11university or public community college, or any other public or
12for-profit or nonprofit private entity for: (i) the use of a
13school building and grounds or any other real property or
14facilities that the charter school desires to use or convert
15for use as a charter school site, (ii) the operation and
16maintenance thereof, and (iii) the provision of any service,
17activity, or undertaking that the charter school is required
18to perform in order to carry out the terms of its charter.
19However, a charter school that is established on or after
20April 16, 2003 (the effective date of Public Act 93-3) and that
21operates in a city having a population exceeding 500,000 may
22not contract with a for-profit entity to manage or operate the
23school during the period that commences on April 16, 2003 (the
24effective date of Public Act 93-3) and concludes at the end of
25the 2004-2005 school year. Except as provided in subsection
26(i) of this Section, a school district may charge a charter



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1school reasonable rent for the use of the district's
2buildings, grounds, and facilities. Any services for which a
3charter school contracts with a school district shall be
4provided by the district at cost. Any services for which a
5charter school contracts with a local school board or with the
6governing body of a State college or university or public
7community college shall be provided by the public entity at
9    (i) In no event shall a charter school that is established
10by converting an existing school or attendance center to
11charter school status be required to pay rent for space that is
12deemed available, as negotiated and provided in the charter
13agreement, in school district facilities. However, all other
14costs for the operation and maintenance of school district
15facilities that are used by the charter school shall be
16subject to negotiation between the charter school and the
17local school board and shall be set forth in the charter.
18    (j) A charter school may limit student enrollment by age
19or grade level.
20    (k) If the charter school is approved by the State Board or
21Commission, then the charter school is its own local education
23(Source: P.A. 100-29, eff. 1-1-18; 100-156, eff. 1-1-18;
24100-163, eff. 1-1-18; 100-413, eff. 1-1-18; 100-468, eff.
256-1-18; 100-726, eff. 1-1-19; 100-863, eff. 8-14-18; 101-50,
26eff. 7-1-20; 101-81, eff. 7-12-19; 101-291, eff. 1-1-20;



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1101-531, eff. 8-23-19; 101-543, eff. 8-23-19; revised 8-4-20.)
2    Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect July 1,