Illinois House Passes Three-Year Ban on Online Charter Schools

Illinois House Passes Three-Year Ban on Online Charter Schools
April 30, 2014

Mary C. Tillotson

Mary Petrides Tillotson is an education reporter for Watchdog.org.  (read full bio)
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The Illinois House has passed a three-year ban on virtual charter schools, shortly after an existing one-year ban expired.

“It’s an amazing story about what they want to do here in Illinois. We are going absolutely backward in terms of education reform and education innovation,” said Ted Dabrowski, vice president of policy at the Illinois Policy Institute.

Twenty-seven states have online schools, and five require students to take a class online before graduating high school, according to the International Association for K-12 Online Learning.

Much of the political pressure for the ban came from teachers unions, Dabrowski said.

“The school districts in Illinois have massive power. We have 868 school districts, the most in the nation, and they have massive power to keep out charter schools. They want to keep out competition, and so the unions and a couple of the legislators … have worked very hard to block reforms,” Dabrowski said. “There’s a lot of politics as usual.”

Article is reprinted with permission. Image by Massachusetts Education Secretary.

Mary C. Tillotson

Mary Petrides Tillotson is an education reporter for Watchdog.org.  (read full bio)