Illinois Considers 3-Year Ban on Virtual Charter Schools

Friday, 11 Apr 2014 09:48 AM

By Mary C. Tillotson, Watchdog.org

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The Illinois House has approved a three-year ban on virtual charter schools, the moratorium coming shortly after a 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.

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."

In this video, Dabrowski and Choice Media discuss Illinois teacher pensions, the prudence of zero-tolerance systems after a student was suspended for twirling a pencil, a mom suspended from school for spreading anti-Common Core literature, a physical fight between a student and teacher, a free speech in schools tour, and a review of virtual learning in Michigan.

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