2018 PPI Score
School Choice Score: 60%
Illinois’s Invest in Kids program, a tax-credit scholarship program for low-income and working class households, was enacted in 2017 and will begin serving students in 2018, making it Illinois’s second educational choice program.
Individual Tax Credit/Deduction
Illinois’ Tax Credits for Educational Expenses program was enacted in 1999 and launched in 2000 to help families afford the public, private or home school options that fit their children’s needs.
Charter Schools Score: 65%
The land of Lincoln earned a “D” in CER’s rankings. However, the state made changes to the
law in 2017, which increase the per-pupil funding allocation from 75% to 90%. This paves the way for more equitable charter school funding, which could positively impact future rankings. Nonetheless, a heavy regulatory environment still exists, making it difficult for operators to open new charter schools. Interest groups and legislators have submitted proposals for moratoriums on charter growth in Chicago, which only intensifies an already hostile environment.
- Law passed: 1996
- Number of charter schools: 142
- Estimated charter enrollment: 65,500
- caps the number of charter schools that can be authorized at 120
- Virtual charter schools allowed: Illinois had a moratorium on virtual charter schools that the legislature recently lifted
- Charter schools can contract with EMOs and CMOs for management purposes
- Illinois earns 6 out of 15 points for “authorizing.” Public school districts and the Illinois State Charter Commission can authorize schools. However, as part of the new collective bargaining agreement in Chicago, the Chicago Public School District (the body that authorizes the majority of charter schools in Chicago), has placed a de-facto moratorium on new charters by forbidding access to old public school buildings that charters might use. Illinois would benefit from the addition of different, non-bureaucratic authorizers that would make charters less vulnerable to politics and regulation.
- Illinois earns 3 of 15 points for “growth.” There is a statewide cap of 120 charter schools (75 in Chicago and 45 outside of Chicago). Proposed moratoriums on new charter schools and virtual charter schools further limit growth. Additionally, it is difficult for successful charters to expand because the law requires new application processes each time an existing operator establishes an additional school.
- Illinois earns 10 of 20 points for “operations.” Charters receive blanket waivers from regulations affecting districts, but the law allows districts to impose their own regulations on the
charters they authorize. Chicago Public Schools, in particular, heavily regulates the schools it authorizes.
Illinois earns 5 of 15 points for “funding equity.” The law provides that charters receive no less than 75 percent and no more than 125 percent of the funding that districts receive. Charters may apply for state grants distributed to school districts. The state commission can charge up to 3 percent of a school’s revue for administrative fees. Districts can also receive “impact aid” to offset the alleged “funding drain” that charters pose, although this provision hasn’t been funded since FY2008. Charter Schools in Illinois do not receive per-pupil facilities funding.
Teacher Quality Score: 78%
Delivering Well Prepared Teachers C+
Expanding the Pool of Teachers C
Identifying Effective Teachers C
Retaining Effective Teachers C+
Exiting Ineffective Teachers C+