Sunday, November 1, 2009

Charter school limit raised

I was reading through the Chicago Teachers Union newspaper (why do they print a four-color paper on clay-coated stock, especially given the financial problems the union is having?), and saw an article on Illinois Senate Bill 612, which was signed into law last July. Some highlights of the bill according to the article ("Charter school law includes wins and losses", p. 6):

  • Doubles the cap on charter schools in the Chicago area from 30 to 60 single-campus schools, plus an allowance for up to five multi-campus charters targeting drop-outs.
  • 75% of charter school teachers across the state will need to be certified, up from 50% in Chicago before.
  • Charters need to disaggregate multi-campus data (single charters running multiple campuses was
  • There can be 30 contract schools (bound by the Illinois School Code, but the CPS Board contracts out management of a school -- click here for more on the types of schools under Renaissance 2010), plus five additional contract "turnaround schools"; but the contracts go through a new authorization process.
  • A parallel bill (SB 1984) says that charters fall under the Illinois Education Labor Relations Act, clarifying that teachers can organize at charters and contract schools.
The thing that sticks out the most to me is the doubling of the charter school number. In practice this will mean the closing of 30 more public schools because after students fill up the charters, the remaining public school enrollment will not justify keeping the school that lost students open.

In other CTU news, Jay Rehak and Lois Ashford won trustee seats on the Chicago Teachers Pension Fund in Friday's (10/30) election, defeating the incumbents supported by the CTU Executive Board. Rehak and Ashford are members of the Caucus of Rank and Educators (CORE). Per their web site, "We hope to democratize the Chicago Teacher’s Union and turn it into an organization that fights on behalf of its members and the students we teach."

This sounds like a rebuke of the current union leadership. What is the CTU doing anyway? And why does the CTU president draw two six-figure salaries? How can she do both jobs effectively? Which means she is doing neither one effectively. The new charter school bill, the school closings, Huberman's rampage, etc. etc. as cases in point...


1 comment:

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