SPRINGFIELD – A measure sponsored by State Sen. Linda Holmes, D-Aurora, that would give local school boards the final authority to approve new charter schools has advanced out of the Illinois Senate.

“Much of what I do in Springfield is based on the notion that local governments know what is best for the communities that they serve,” Holmes said. “Local school boards will always know better than the State Charter School Commission what the community needs to properly educate students.”

Current law allows the State Charter School Commission to reverse a local school board’s decision to deny, revoke or not renew a charter. Holmes’ measure would eliminate this provision, giving school boards final approval on decisions regarding charter schools.

Holmes claims that the measure before the Senate is meant to safeguard public school districts against overreach from higher units of government.

“I want the people that we elect to local school boards to make the final decisions in regards to charter schools,” Holmes said. “It is important that we protect local school boards from state and federal overreach.”

House Bill 768 was approved by the Senate yesterday. It now moves to the governor for further review.

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