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National Alliance Statement on ASPIRA Charter Schools

“Charter schools are public schools that are granted autonomy to operate outside of much district red tape, in exchange for being held to higher levels of accountability. This model allows teachers and principals to tailor curriculum and school culture, among other things, to best serve their students. While charter school teachers are free to unionize in many states, including Illinois, the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools cautions that such efforts should not lessen the innovation and autonomy that are central to the charter movement. In too many cases, we have seen unionizing efforts back schools into many of the bureaucratic practices that charter schools, by their nature, are trying to avoid – and which don’t foster the kind of dedicated innovation we need to serve students. A teacher’s strike is a prime example of this. And in a city like Chicago with a long history of labor strife that has placed adult interests above student needs, this danger is all the more real. We pledge to work with our partners in Illinois to avoid an unnecessary strike. We hope the committed educators of ASPIRA are able to reach a solution that keeps them in the classroom, and keeps kids learning.”