Capitol Recap

Charter School Lid Removed in Illinois

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Illinois

Gov. Pat Quinn Democrat
Senate:
37 Democrats
22 Republicans
House:
70 Democrats
48 Republicans
Enrollment:
2.1 million

Illinois lawmakers eased a cap on charter schools and committed to establishing a system to collect longitudinal data on student progress from preschool through college during the last legislative session. But school districts around the state will also cope with a lean budget over this academic year, as state leaders once again struggled to close a major budget shortfall.

Lawmakers in the Democratic-controlled legislature agreed to double the state charter school limit, from 60 to 120. They also approved the creation of a data warehouse for collecting longitudinal data, an effort backed by a $9 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education.

The state was originally facing a budget deficit of more than $9 billion for fiscal 2010, before Gov. Quinn reduced that figure to a shortfall of $1.4 billion through deep cuts to state jobs and other spending. The school budget will fall slightly, from about $7.4 billion to $7.3 billion, minus federal funding, though per-pupil funding will rise from $5,959 to $6,119, according to the Illinois state school board.

Vol. 29, Issue 04, Page 16

Published in Print: September 23, 2009, as Charter School Lid Removed in Illinois
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