School Choice Score: 0%
For all full-time students, parents may receive a tax credit worth 25 percent of their expenditures for a maximum credit of $500 per family. The state permits parents some choices among traditional public schools but it restricts such choice to within their district, limiting options.
Charter Schools Score: 68%
Illinois’ charter school law is weak because only local boards can authorize charter schools, with now a binding appeal to a semi-independent Charter Commission. Very few charters operate outside of Chicago, and the teachers unions are very strong, making charter law improvements difficult. Students at charter schools receive about 75 percent of their per-pupil public funding, and there is also a cap on the number of schools that can be approved throughout the state.
Online Learning Score: 0%
For example, the state’s charter law requires students to physically meet once a week and there are also attendance boundary laws for online schools. Additionally, the Illinois Virtual School offers flexible enrollment and there are three blended learning schools in Chicago and one full-time online charter school with limitations on enrollment. Illinois provides limited opportunities for students to access some online courses and grades, but with the moratorium on the creation of virtual schools, some options are limited.
- Source: Digital Learning Now!
Teacher Quality Score: 78%
Teacher effectiveness is a factor, just not the main one, in licensure advancement, layoff decisions and tenure. Ineffective classroom performance is a ground for dismissal. Minimum salaries are required to be based on seniority and advanced degrees with no room for bonuses or performance pay.