With guest, Louder Than a Bomb poet Nate Marshall

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Guzzardi's bill would limit charter expansion. Sends INCS into panic mode.

Rep. Will Guzzardi calling for limits on the expansion of privately-run charters in IL
The charter hustlers at INCS are in panic mode. Until recently, they've been riding a wave of rapid expansion of privately-run charter schools even as seats in many of their charters remain unfilled and while hundreds of neighborhood public schools are being closed or severely underfunded.

INCS sent out a mass mailing Friday, warning their base that...
On Tuesday, March 28, 2017, at 2:00 pm, Rep. Will Guzzardi (D-Chicago), will debate HB3567, a bill that will place a 10-year or longer ban on charter public schools across the state. This bill will limit the educational options of Illinois' families, and disproportionately affect communities currently without high-quality open-enrollment public schools. Thousands of children and families across Illinois need your help to stop this harmful bill.
The INCS letter is misleading. HB3567 doesn't place a 10-year ban (or any ban) on charters. It doesn't call for the closing of a single charter school in the state. Nor does it "limit the education options" of a single student. Rather, the bill is aimed at restricting the unlimited expansion of privately-run charters in districts that can't afford to build or operate them. The bulk of Illinois’ 857 school districts would not be affected. In 2016, ISBE reported 32 school districts on the financial watch list — the state’s worst rating — and another 61 a step above on the financial early warning list.

Lauren FitzPatrick, writes in the Sun-Times:
The bill introduced Friday by state Rep. Will Guzzardi, D-Chicago, would block the opening of any new charter campuses in any school districts with the Illinois State Board of Education’s two lowest financial ratings. The Chicago Public Schools system has been on that list for years.
 “Our priority must be investing in the schools we have,“ Guzzardi said Monday outside Prosser Career Academy High School on the Northwest Side, where he was accompanied by other lawmakers, members of the Chicago Teachers Union and parents from the neighborhood.
“If your district is broke, take care of the schools you have before you open new schools,” Guzzardi said. “This isn’t about shutting down any charter schools that are already here.”
Rep. Guzzardi is right, as usual.

His bill would also constrain Gov. Rauner's appointed State Charter Commission from overruling local school districts who turn down applications for new charter schools they don't want or can't afford.

It's significant that Guzzardi made his pitch for the new bill on the street outside of Prosser Career Academy. Despite neighborhood protests,  Noble Charter Network opened a franchise directly across the street from Prosser, hoping to recruit Prosser's best students.

I suppose, INCS expected to continue charter expansion unabated, especially with Trump in the White House and Betsy DeVos running the DOE. But proponents of uncapped charter expansion were defeated by Massachusetts voters last November, despite spending million of dollars to pass their expansion proposition.

IL needs to follow their lead. Guzzardi's bill is a good one and needs to be supported.


  1. Thank you, Rep. Guzzardi.

  2. LOL. It's funny. When I, first, read the headline, I read it as "Grizzlies would limit charter expansion. Sends INCS into panic mode." I was like, 'What!!' I read it - thrice - incorrectly. Totally, not my fault; the Rep. has used the claws gesture.

  3. Once again, thank you, Rep. Guzzardi, for your bold legislative efforts.
    More good news--the voucher provision bill didn't make it out of committee.
    Perhaps it was a reflection of the House legislators' opinion of Betsy DeVos.


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