An Illinois State Board of Education report shows enrollment in charter schools has quadrupled in the last eight years. There are 52 charter schools in the state, twice as many as there were in 2004. Andrew Broy of the Illinois Network of Charter Schools says parents want more options.
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“If your student is going to a school that you don’t like for whatever reason – could be too large, could be too far away, they could provide a non-tailored curriculum – charter schools provide and option. That no one has to attend but parents can choose to attend,” Broy says. Almost three-quarters of the state’s charter schools are in Chicago. More than 90 percent of students are minorities and the majority are low-income. Broy says this isn’t the trend in every state, but Illinois focuses in areas where students may be at-risk.
“There are plenty of schools in our state and districts in our state that do not have high-quality public school options. As a consequence many parents are choosing to send their children to charter schools instead,” Broy says. In 2011 almost 60 percent of charter schools outperformed the public schools in their district on standardized tests such as the ISAT or PSAE. The report can be found at: http://www.isbe.state.il.us/charter/pdf/biennial_rpt_09-10_10-11.pdf