Elected Officials Join Hundreds Of Charter School Advocates For INCS 13th Annual Lobby Day

Charter Public School Supporters Call for Fair Access to Facilities Funding

SPRINGFIELD, IL – This afternoon, Senator Patricia Van Pelt, Senator Emil Jones, Senator Chuck Weaver, and Representative Lisa Hernandez joined Andrew Broy, president of the Illinois Network of Charter Schools, and hundreds of charter public school parents, teachers, and advocates to rally in support of their schools and participate in the 13th Annual INCS Charter Lobby Day.

“I’m heartened to see hundreds of parents here today to advocate on behalf of our children!” said Senator Patricia Van Pelt. “Many charter schools are providing families with educational opportunities that they may not otherwise have had access to—they’re changing lives.”

“I will continue to fight alongside you to ensure all children are afforded their basic human right: an education that will prepare them for the future!” she continued.

At the rally in the Illinois Statehouse, parents called on state leaders to support fair access to facilities funding for charter public schools. The Illinois charter public school law currently does not contain a provision for facilities funding and access to state or local capital funds for facilities is extremely limited. Charter school supporters rallied in support of SJR64, which convenes a bipartisan and representative task force to explore the facilities challenges facing charter public schools in Illinois.

“We need to make sure that our kids are being treated equally,” said Catalina Willarson, mother of a Rowe Elementary Charter School graduate and current kindergartener. “Charter schools should have access to facilities funding, so that they don’t have to spend money on buildings that could be used in the classroom.”

“Sixty-five thousand families have chosen charter public schools to educate their children,” said Andrew Broy, president of the Illinois Network of Charter Schools. “These families deserve to be treated equitably and provided fair access to resources, and we at INCS will continue to advocate on their behalf until this becomes a reality.”

Charter schools are tuition-free public schools that serve all students and do not require enrollment testing. Statewide, 96 percent of charter school students are African American or Latino and 88 percent are low income. In Chicago, charter public school students enroll in four-year colleges at nearly twice the rate of their peers in district-run schools.

About the Illinois Network of Charter Schools:
The Illinois Network of Charter Schools advocates for the improvement of public education by leveraging the charter school model as a catalyst to transform lives and communities. INCS works to ensure that charter public schools have adequate and equitable resources, the autonomy to find innovative approaches to meet student needs, and a fair and transparent policy landscape that allows high-quality options to thrive. As the voice of Illinois charter schools, INCS engages a diverse coalition of policymakers, school leaders, parents, and community members to create systemic change and secure high-quality schools for undeserved communities. For more information, visit www.incschools.org.

About Elevate Chicago:
Elevate Chicago is a coalition launched in 2017 made up of students, teachers, parents, and families from the following organizations: The Bloc Chicago, Catalyst Schools, CHAMPS Mentoring, Chicago International Charter Schools, Friends of CICS Tennis, the Illinois Network of Charter Schools, Intrinsic Schools, KIPP Chicago, LEARN Charter School Network, the Noble Network of Charter Schools, North Lawndale College Prep High School, Northwestern Settlement, Perspectives Charter School, Play Smart Literacy, Rowe Elementary School, The Ideal Candidate, UChicago Charter School, Acero Schools and We Live Here. Elevate Chicago’s mission is to ensure that every child in Chicago has access to a great education.  Elevate Chicago supports a public policy agenda that will build and sustain the success of charter public schools.  For more information, visit www.chartersforchange.org.