Policy Map

Illinois

School Choice Policy

Charter School Choice

Do state statutes allow for charter schools?

Are for-profit charters allowed?

No:

"A charter school shall be a public, nonsectarian, nonreligious, non-home based, and non-profit school. A charter school shall be organized and operated as a nonprofit corporation or other discrete, legal, nonprofit entity authorized under the laws of the State of Illinois."

27A-5(a) Charter school; legal entity; requirements

Is there a cap on the number of charter schools?

Yes:

Total number of charter schools shall not exceed 120. Not more than 70 may operate in a city with a population exceeding 500,000, with at least 5 devoted to students from low-performing or overcrowded schools. Not more than 45 charter schools shall operate in remainder of the State, with not more than 1 school initiated by board of education or by intergovernmental agreement between boards of education at any one time in a district.

27A-4(b) General provisions

Are charters required to provide transportation for any students?

No:

Local school board cannot require that a charter provides pupil transportation. However, charters must provide a description of how the charter school plans to meet the transportation needs of its pupils, and a plan for addressing the transportation needs of low-income and at-risk pupils.

27A-7(a)(13): Charter submission
27A-11(b): Local financing

Can charter schools employ uncertified teachers?

Yes:

"Charter schools shall employ in instructional positions, as defined in the charter, individuals who are certificated under Article 21 of this Code or who possess the following qualifications:

(i) graduated with a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution of higher learning;

(ii) been employed for a period of at least 5 years in an area requiring application of the individual's education;

(iii) (blank); and

(iv) demonstrate continuing evidence of professional growth which shall include, but not be limited to, successful teaching experience, attendance at professional meetings, membership in professional organizations, additional credits earned at institutions of higher learning, travel specifically for educational purposes, and reading of professional books and periodicals."

27A-10 (c)(i-iv): Employees

Virtual School Choice

Do state statutes allow for full-time virtual schools?

Yes:

Virtual schools "are cyber schools where students engage in online curriculum and instruction via the Internet and electronic communication with their teachers at remote locations." Moratorium on virtual schools from April 1, 2013 to December 31, 2016, but did not apply to existing virtual-schooling components in district schools.

27A-5 (b-5) Charter school; legal entity; requirements

Are virtual schools required to track attendance?

Did not find

Do virtual schools have to comply with state teacher certification requirements?

Did not find

Private School Choice

Do state statutes allow for voucher programs?

No:

No voucher programs found.

EdChoice School Choice in America

Do state statutes allow for educational expense tax credits or deductions?

Yes:

Illinois statute allows for an education expense credit: A taxpayer who is the parent/legal guardian of one or more qualifying pupils shall be allowed a tax credit for qualified education expenses (excess of $250 for tuition, book fees, and lab fees) incurred on behalf of the qualifying pupils.

Education Expense Tax Credit: 35 ILCS5/201(m)

Can students use vouchers to attend religious schools?

Not Applicable

Is there a cap on the number of students or private schools participating in voucher programs?

Not Applicable

Are voucher students in private schools required to take any standardized tests?

Not Applicable

Can private schools be removed from voucher programs based on performance?

Not Applicable

Are private schools in voucher programs required to provide transportation?

Not Applicable

Interdistrict School Choice

Do state statutes allow for interdistrict choice?

Unclear

Are receiving schools or districts required to provide transportation to any students?

Unclear

Page last updated: January 2020

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