The debate over charters schools is heating up in Illinois. Advocates on both sides of the issue are speaking out about a five-year, $42 million federal grant Illinois won in September to support the creation of new public charter schools.
Illinois Federation of Teachers (IFT) President Dan Montgomery wants the Chicago Board of Education to reject new charter school proposals that are currently under consideration by the cash-strapped school district. Proposals for as many as 13 new alternative and traditional charter schools could go up for a vote at next week's Chicago school board meeting.
Montgomery addressed the issue while speaking with reporters Tuesday after his speech before the City Club of Chicago on the topic of "school choice."
"I think they should be rejected," he said of the pending Chicago charter school applications. "I think they've got to get their house in order first and make sure that ... every other school in the city is getting all the things it needs before they start talking about diverting more resources to charter schools."
The Chicago Board of Education unanimously approved the school district's controversial $5.8 billion spending plan for the 2015 fiscal year that cuts the budgets of traditional neighborhood schools and boosts funding for charters. Progress Illinois provides highlights from today's board of ed meeting.