Chicago City Council majority wants an end to Chicago charter school expansion...

Chicago Alderman Roderick Sawyer, above speaking, has joined 41 other members of the City Council in a resolution calling for a moratorium on charter school expansion in Chicago. Forty two of Chicago's 50 aldermen have announced that they support a City Council resolution opposing an expansion of the city's charter schools this year. Additionally, the Chicago Board of Education has scheduled hearings on the proposals before it. Instead of providing details on the failures and scandals involving the more than 100 existing Chicago charter schools (and so-called "campuses"), Chicago's corporate media, led by the Chicago Sun-Times, immediately gave a great deal of space to uncritical support for the charter schools' version of reality, including the false claims about long "waiting lists" and other fictions.


DNA INFO story on City Council resolution below here:

42 Aldermen Back Charter Moratorium at CPS and Across State

By Ted Cox | September 24, 2015 5:16pm | Updated on September 24, 2015 7:56pm



Ald. Roderick Sawyer has submitted a resolution seeking a statewide moratorium on new charter schools. Ald. Brendan Reilly (r.) signed on, along with 40 other aldermen. Ald. Roderick Sawyer has submitted a resolution seeking a statewide moratorium on new charter schools. Ald. Brendan Reilly (r.) signed on, along with 40 other aldermen. View Full Caption DNAinfo/Ted Cox

CITY HALL A resolution seeking a moratorium on new charter schools this year was signed by 42 aldermen Thursday.

Seeking to close a loophole that has bedeviled Chicago Public Schools, the resolution, submitted by Ald. Roderick Sawyer (6th), asks for a freeze on new charters both in the city and across the state through the Illinois State Board of Education.

A previous resolution calling for a citywide moratorium on charters, submitted by Ald. Matthew O'Shea (19th), got sidetracked in the Rules Committee.

State law allows charters to open even if the local district doesn't want them. CPS has denied some charter applications, only to have them approved by the Illinois State Charter School Commission. At that point, CPS has to fund the schools, without having any say over their operation.

Sawyer's resolution asks to halt new charters entirely across the state for the 2015-16 school year.

"Just a few years after CPS closed 50 public, neighborhood schools, and with our school system facing a continued funding crisis, the last thing we need is 22 new, privately managed charter schools added to the pool," Sawyer said. "The vast majority of aldermen oppose the opening of new charters this year, while we face a massive budget crisis and no path to adequately funding our neighborhood schools."

Sawyer said the current system pits charters against neighborhood schools in a "zero-sum game."

"With so many neighborhood schools taking severe budget cuts, it is common sense that we should attempt to steady the ship before pushing forward with new schools," he added. "We need to slow this process down. Charter schools are also having problems filling seats, so the mission of these schools is becoming more about marketing than education. Let's deal with our current financial difficulties, see what is working and what is not working. and then do what is best for all our children."

CPS, however, wouldn't commit to the moratorium.

"Whether at STEM, [International Baccalaureate], neighborhood or charter schools, we are equally committed to providing our students and parents with high-quality choices and to hold every school, regardless of school type, accountable to rigorous academic standards," said CPS spokesman Bill McCaffrey.

He added, "While CPS faces serious financial challenges, we must continue to invest in high-quality schools and programs to protect our academic gains and ensure our students graduate ready for college, career and life."

Raise Your Hand reported as follows: 42 Aldermen Sponsor Charter Moratorium Resolution.... Yesterday 42 out of 50 aldermen signed on to a resolution that asks the CPS Board and the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) to put a hold on charter expansion at CPS for this school year. The reason ISBE is listed is because the state charter commission is able to approve charters that local school boards reject. In the past, the state commission has approved 2 charters that CPS has rejected. Those schools get additional funding and basically have no oversight. Theres a bill in Springfield to weaken this commission (HB397). It has passed in the House but is stalled in the Senate.

Regarding the charter moratorium resolution, a vote wasnt taken in the city council yesterday but the resolution was introduced and sponsored by 42 alderman. We spoke personally to about 15 aldermen yesterday before the City Council meeting. Our volunteers were making phone calls to at least 35 Wards in the week prior to the City Council meeting. Continue to share our flyer on the need for a charter moratorium. Make sure to call your alderman and thank them for signing so that they will continue to support this. This isnt a move to close existing charter schools but to stop expansion during broke times, when CPS cant afford the existing schools- district or charter- that they have.

You can see who supported the resolution here: charter moratorium

Raise Your Hand delivered a letter to all alderman before the City Council meeting on Thursday. It also calls for TIF reform that would benefit CPS and a hold on constructing new selective enrollment high schools.

RYH Letter to Aldermen

Sun-Times: Aldermen's resolution seeks no new charters this school year

DNAinfo: 42 Aldermen Back Charter Moratorium at CPS and Across State

CPS is holding hearings on all new charter proposals next Wednesday from 4:30-8:30pm at 42 W.Madison. This will not include hearings for the proposed alternative schools. Here's a schedule of the hearings: CPS hearings for 12 charters


Public hearings for proposed new charter schools will be held next week, Chicago Public Schools announced Friday.

In April, CPS announced that private school operators are seeking to open or expand 20 public charter schools and 12 public alternative schools.

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The hearings will begin at 4 p.m. Wednesday at CPS headquarters, 42 W. Madison.

Here is the schedule CPS provided for the times different school proposals will be discussed:

4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.: Connected Futures Academy, Youth Connection Charter Schools, New Life Academy.

5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.: KIPP Charter School, STARS Project Engineering, Perseid Academy.

7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.: Noble Street Charter School

Some of the communities that may see these schools include Hyde Park, Back of the Yards, Roseland, Portage Park, Rogers Park, East Garfield Park and Lawndale, according to the proposals.

On Thursday, nearly all Chicago aldermen signed a City Council resolution seeking a new charter school moratorium this school year.

CPS is required by state law to review new charter applications. Rejected charters can appeal to a state board, which can override CPS if it denies a charter and then fund the school with money that the district would have otherwise controlled. CPS would have no oversight of the school in that case.


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