Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HB0279
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Full Text of HB0279  101st General Assembly




State of Illinois
2019 and 2020


Introduced , by Rep. Will Guzzardi


105 ILCS 5/27A-5

    Amends the School Code. Provides that there is a moratorium on the establishment of new charter schools in financially distressed school districts, including new campuses of existing charter schools, for such a time as the school district meets the definition of a financially distressed school district.

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HB0279LRB101 05010 AXK 50019 b

1    AN ACT concerning education.
2    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
3represented in the General Assembly:
4    Section 5. The School Code is amended by changing Section
527A-5 as follows:
6    (105 ILCS 5/27A-5)
7    Sec. 27A-5. Charter school; legal entity; requirements.
8    (a) A charter school shall be a public, nonsectarian,
9nonreligious, non-home based, and non-profit school. A charter
10school shall be organized and operated as a nonprofit
11corporation or other discrete, legal, nonprofit entity
12authorized under the laws of the State of Illinois.
13    (b) A charter school may be established under this Article
14by creating a new school or by converting an existing public
15school or attendance center to charter school status. Beginning
16on April 16, 2003 (the effective date of Public Act 93-3), in
17all new applications to establish a charter school in a city
18having a population exceeding 500,000, operation of the charter
19school shall be limited to one campus. The changes made to this
20Section by Public Act 93-3 do not apply to charter schools
21existing or approved on or before April 16, 2003 (the effective
22date of Public Act 93-3).
23    (b-5) In this subsection (b-5), "virtual-schooling" means



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1a cyber school where students engage in online curriculum and
2instruction via the Internet and electronic communication with
3their teachers at remote locations and with students
4participating at different times.
5    From April 1, 2013 through December 31, 2016, there is a
6moratorium on the establishment of charter schools with
7virtual-schooling components in school districts other than a
8school district organized under Article 34 of this Code. This
9moratorium does not apply to a charter school with
10virtual-schooling components existing or approved prior to
11April 1, 2013 or to the renewal of the charter of a charter
12school with virtual-schooling components already approved
13prior to April 1, 2013.
14    On or before March 1, 2014, the Commission shall submit to
15the General Assembly a report on the effect of
16virtual-schooling, including without limitation the effect on
17student performance, the costs associated with
18virtual-schooling, and issues with oversight. The report shall
19include policy recommendations for virtual-schooling.
20    (b-10) In this subsection (b-10), "financially distressed
21school district" means a school district identified by the
22State Board of Education as a Tier 1 or Tier 2 Organizational
23Unit under Section 18-8.15 of this Code.
24    There is a moratorium on the establishment of new charter
25schools in financially distressed school districts, including
26new campuses of existing charter schools, for such a time as



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1the school district meets the definition of a financially
2distressed school district.
3    (c) A charter school shall be administered and governed by
4its board of directors or other governing body in the manner
5provided in its charter. The governing body of a charter school
6shall be subject to the Freedom of Information Act and the Open
7Meetings Act.
8    (d) For purposes of this subsection (d), "non-curricular
9health and safety requirement" means any health and safety
10requirement created by statute or rule to provide, maintain,
11preserve, or safeguard safe or healthful conditions for
12students and school personnel or to eliminate, reduce, or
13prevent threats to the health and safety of students and school
14personnel. "Non-curricular health and safety requirement" does
15not include any course of study or specialized instructional
16requirement for which the State Board has established goals and
17learning standards or which is designed primarily to impart
18knowledge and skills for students to master and apply as an
19outcome of their education.
20    A charter school shall comply with all non-curricular
21health and safety requirements applicable to public schools
22under the laws of the State of Illinois. On or before September
231, 2015, the State Board shall promulgate and post on its
24Internet website a list of non-curricular health and safety
25requirements that a charter school must meet. The list shall be
26updated annually no later than September 1. Any charter



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1contract between a charter school and its authorizer must
2contain a provision that requires the charter school to follow
3the list of all non-curricular health and safety requirements
4promulgated by the State Board and any non-curricular health
5and safety requirements added by the State Board to such list
6during the term of the charter. Nothing in this subsection (d)
7precludes an authorizer from including non-curricular health
8and safety requirements in a charter school contract that are
9not contained in the list promulgated by the State Board,
10including non-curricular health and safety requirements of the
11authorizing local school board.
12    (e) Except as otherwise provided in the School Code, a
13charter school shall not charge tuition; provided that a
14charter school may charge reasonable fees for textbooks,
15instructional materials, and student activities.
16    (f) A charter school shall be responsible for the
17management and operation of its fiscal affairs including, but
18not limited to, the preparation of its budget. An audit of each
19charter school's finances shall be conducted annually by an
20outside, independent contractor retained by the charter
21school. To ensure financial accountability for the use of
22public funds, on or before December 1 of every year of
23operation, each charter school shall submit to its authorizer
24and the State Board a copy of its audit and a copy of the Form
25990 the charter school filed that year with the federal
26Internal Revenue Service. In addition, if deemed necessary for



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1proper financial oversight of the charter school, an authorizer
2may require quarterly financial statements from each charter
4    (g) A charter school shall comply with all provisions of
5this Article, the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Act, all
6federal and State laws and rules applicable to public schools
7that pertain to special education and the instruction of
8English learners, and its charter. A charter school is exempt
9from all other State laws and regulations in this Code
10governing public schools and local school board policies;
11however, a charter school is not exempt from the following:
12        (1) Sections 10-21.9 and 34-18.5 of this Code regarding
13    criminal history records checks and checks of the Statewide
14    Sex Offender Database and Statewide Murderer and Violent
15    Offender Against Youth Database of applicants for
16    employment;
17        (2) Sections 10-20.14, 10-22.6, 24-24, 34-19, and
18    34-84a of this Code regarding discipline of students;
19        (3) the Local Governmental and Governmental Employees
20    Tort Immunity Act;
21        (4) Section 108.75 of the General Not For Profit
22    Corporation Act of 1986 regarding indemnification of
23    officers, directors, employees, and agents;
24        (5) the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act;
25        (5.5) subsection (b) of Section 10-23.12 and
26    subsection (b) of Section 34-18.6 of this Code;



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1        (6) the Illinois School Student Records Act;
2        (7) Section 10-17a of this Code regarding school report
3    cards;
4        (8) the P-20 Longitudinal Education Data System Act;
5        (9) Section 27-23.7 of this Code regarding bullying
6    prevention;
7        (10) Section 2-3.162 of this Code regarding student
8    discipline reporting;
9        (11) Sections 22-80 and 27-8.1 of this Code;
10        (12) Sections 10-20.60 and 34-18.53 of this Code;
11        (13) Sections 10-20.63 and 34-18.56 of this Code; and
12        (14) Section 26-18 of this Code; and
13        (15) Section 22-30 of this Code.
14    The change made by Public Act 96-104 to this subsection (g)
15is declaratory of existing law.
16    (h) A charter school may negotiate and contract with a
17school district, the governing body of a State college or
18university or public community college, or any other public or
19for-profit or nonprofit private entity for: (i) the use of a
20school building and grounds or any other real property or
21facilities that the charter school desires to use or convert
22for use as a charter school site, (ii) the operation and
23maintenance thereof, and (iii) the provision of any service,
24activity, or undertaking that the charter school is required to
25perform in order to carry out the terms of its charter.
26However, a charter school that is established on or after April



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116, 2003 (the effective date of Public Act 93-3) and that
2operates in a city having a population exceeding 500,000 may
3not contract with a for-profit entity to manage or operate the
4school during the period that commences on April 16, 2003 (the
5effective date of Public Act 93-3) and concludes at the end of
6the 2004-2005 school year. Except as provided in subsection (i)
7of this Section, a school district may charge a charter school
8reasonable rent for the use of the district's buildings,
9grounds, and facilities. Any services for which a charter
10school contracts with a school district shall be provided by
11the district at cost. Any services for which a charter school
12contracts with a local school board or with the governing body
13of a State college or university or public community college
14shall be provided by the public entity at cost.
15    (i) In no event shall a charter school that is established
16by converting an existing school or attendance center to
17charter school status be required to pay rent for space that is
18deemed available, as negotiated and provided in the charter
19agreement, in school district facilities. However, all other
20costs for the operation and maintenance of school district
21facilities that are used by the charter school shall be subject
22to negotiation between the charter school and the local school
23board and shall be set forth in the charter.
24    (j) A charter school may limit student enrollment by age or
25grade level.
26    (k) If the charter school is approved by the Commission,



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1then the Commission charter school is its own local education
3(Source: P.A. 99-30, eff. 7-10-15; 99-78, eff. 7-20-15; 99-245,
4eff. 8-3-15; 99-325, eff. 8-10-15; 99-456, eff. 9-15-16;
599-642, eff. 7-28-16; 99-927, eff. 6-1-17; 100-29, eff. 1-1-18;
6100-156, eff. 1-1-18; 100-163, eff. 1-1-18; 100-413, eff.
71-1-18; 100-468, eff. 6-1-18; 100-726, eff. 1-1-19; 100-863,
8eff. 8-14-18; revised 10-5-18.)