Are there clear processes for renewal, nonrenewal, and revocation decisions?
Illinois law requires charter schools to submit a renewal proposal to its authorizer.
The law allows a charter to be revoked for committing a material violation of any of the conditions, standards, or procedures set forth in the charter, failing to meet or make reasonable progress toward achievement of the content standards or pupil performance standards identified in the charter, failing to meet generally accepted standards of fiscal management, or violating any provision of law from which the charter school was not exempted. The law provides that renewals can be made for up to 10 years depending on authorizer’s assessment of charter school’s performance. However, the law provides that charter schools authorized by the state commission may only be renewed in terms up to 5 years in length.
In the case of revocation, the law requires the authorizer to notify the charter school in writing of the reason why the charter is subject to revocation. It requires the charter school to submit a written plan to the authorizer to rectify the problem, which must include a timeline for implementation not to exceed two years or the date of the charter's expiration, whichever is earlier.
If the authorizer finds that the charter school has failed to implement the plan of remediation and adhere to the timeline, the law requires it to revoke the charter. Except in situations of an emergency where the health, safety, or education of the charter school's students is at risk, the law provides that the revocation must take place at the end of a school year. The law allows a charter authorized by a local school board to appeal the board’s notice of their decision to revoke or not renew a charter to the State Charter School Commission, whose decisions are subject to judicial review.
Under Illinois law, reports of denials, revocations, or non-renewals must consist of the charter proposal or current charter contract voted upon by the authorizers. The law requires the authorizers to determine a decision in a public forum and to send a copy of each board's resolution setting forth the board's action and its reasons for the action to the state board of education and the Commission.
The law has closure provisions related to property and asset disposition. State regulations outline the requirements for timely parent notification and orderly student and record transitions. State law also requires the school to give parents 60 days’ notice of the closure.
Illinois law does not allow for charters to transfer from one authorizer to another outside of the Commission appeals process for charters that are non-renewed or revoked by their local school board authorizer. State law does require the state to review charter contracts for compliance with the law and certify them.