Illinois’ charter school industry says it has voters on its side. The Illinois Network of Charter Schools is out with a survey showing widespread support for at least the concept of charter schools, which are publicly funded but operated by private non-profit groups.
The group is trying to fend off efforts to slow charter school expansion. There are now 148 charter schools with 61,000 students.
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75 percent of Illinois voters and 77 percent of Illinois parents believe in giving parents more choices in where they can send their children to school.
By a 49 to 27 margin, Illinois voters view charter public schools favorably, and there is bipartisan support from all regions and demographics across the state.
79 percent of Illinois voters support giving parents whose children attend low-performing schools the option of attending a charter school.
Voters across the state – 70 percent – welcome charter schools to their community and strongly support policies that make it easier for charter public schools to open.
(Public Opinion Strategies, 600 registered Illinois voters, April 20-22, margin of error +/-4 percent)
A bill in Springfield would eliminate the state appeals board to which a prospective charter operator can turn if they’re rejected by their local school board.