State of Illinois
91st General Assembly

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 1        AN  ACT  to  amend  the  School  Code by changing Section
 2    27A-2.

 3        Be it enacted by the People of  the  State  of  Illinois,
 4    represented in the General Assembly:

 5        Section  5.   The  School  Code  is  amended  by changing
 6    Section 27A-2 as follows:

 7        (105 ILCS 5/27A-2)
 8        Sec. 27A-2. Legislative declaration.
 9        (a)  The  General  Assembly  finds   and   declares   the
10    following as follows:
11             (1)  Encouraging  educational  excellence  is in the
12        best interests of the people of this State.
13             (2)  There are  educators,  community  members,  and
14        parents in Illinois who can offer flexible and innovative
15        educational  techniques  and  programs,  but  who lack an
16        avenue through which to provide them  within  the  public
17        school system.
18             (3)  The   enactment   of   legislation  authorizing
19        charter schools to operate in Illinois will  promote  new
20        options  within the public school system and will provide
21        pupils, educators, community members,  and  parents  with
22        the stimulus to strive for educational excellence.
23        (b)  The General Assembly further finds and declares that
24    this Article is enacted for the following purposes:
25             (1)  To  improve  pupil learning by creating schools
26        with high, rigorous standards for pupil performance.
27             (2)  To  increase  learning  opportunities  for  all
28        pupils,  with  special  emphasis  on  expanded   learning
29        experiences for at-risk pupils, consistent, however, with
30        an  equal  commitment  to increase learning opportunities
31        for all other groups of pupils in a manner that does  not
                            -2-                LRB9103822NTks
 1        discriminate  on  the  basis  of disability, race, creed,
 2        color,  gender,  national  origin,  religion,   ancestry,
 3        marital status, or need for special education services.
 4             (3)  To  encourage  the use of teaching methods that
 5        may be different in some respects than  others  regularly
 6        used in the public school system.
 7             (4)  To  allow the development of new, different, or
 8        alternative  forms  of  measuring  pupil   learning   and
 9        achievement.
10             (5)  To  create  new  professional opportunities for
11        teachers, including the opportunity to be responsible for
12        the learning program at the school site.
13             (6)  To provide parents  and  pupils  with  expanded
14        choices within the public school system.
15             (7)  To encourage parental and community involvement
16        with public schools.
17             (8)  To hold charter schools accountable for meeting
18        rigorous  school  content  standards and to provide those
19        schools with the opportunity to improve accountability.
20        (c)  In authorizing charter schools, it is the intent  of
21    the  General  Assembly  to  create  a  legitimate  avenue for
22    parents, teachers, and community members to take  responsible
23    risks  and  create new, innovative, and more flexible ways of
24    educating children within  the  public  school  system.   The
25    General  Assembly  seeks  to  create opportunities within the
26    public  school  system  of  Illinois   for   development   of
27    innovative   and   accountable  teaching  techniques.     The
28    provisions of this Article should be interpreted liberally to
29    support the findings and goals of this Section and to advance
30    a renewed commitment by the State of Illinois to the mission,
31    goals, and diversity of public education.
32    (Source: P.A. 89-450, eff. 4-10-96; 90-548, eff. 1-1-98.)

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