Senate Passes Collins’ Plan Requiring Charter Schools to Disclose Criminal Investigations

SPRINGFIELD, IL – State Senator Jacqueline Y. Collins (D-Chicago 16th) sponsored legislation the Senate passed yesterday to require organizations applying to open charter schools in Illinois to disclose any ongoing criminal or civil investigations into their activities. The disclosure requirement applies to the organization submitting the proposal as well as any member of its governing body.

“Charter schools are funded primarily with public money, so it is important to hold them to high standards and subject new proposals to the highest possible degree of scrutiny,” Collins said. “Ongoing investigations should be a part of the picture when local school districts evaluate charter applications, and we are ensuring that districts have all the information they need to make prudent decisions for families and taxpayers.”

Last year, Collins sponsored laws that promoted fairness and transparency in the charter school lottery process, prevented cronyism in charter management and ended the practice of charters collecting public funds to educate students who return to traditional public schools partway through the school year.

“School choice should be informed choice – for parents but also for districts examining charter school applications,” Collins said. “This legislation will help prevent the misuse of public money before it occurs.”

The House will now consider Senate Bill 1591.