SPRINGFIELD, Ill., April 16, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Charter public school advocates are gearing up for a daylong event which will span two cities on April 17, 2012. The "lobby day" event kicks off with a rally at Soldier Field in Chicago, where more than 1,000 charter public school students and supporters are expected to turn out. Chicago Public Schools CEO Jean Claude Brizard and charter school leaders will address the gathering.
After the rally, two dozen buses will depart for Springfield for another rally featuring an address by key supporters of HB 5225, dubbed the "Equal Funding Bill." The address, to be held at the Abraham Lincoln statue, will be led by lead sponsor State Representative Daniel Burke (D-Chicago) and co-sponsors Edward Acevedo (D-Chicago), Edward Sullivan, Jr. (R-Mundelein) Thaddeus Jones (D-Chicago), and Deborah Mell (D-Chicago).
The amendment to HB 5225 would ensure that school districts fund charter public school students at an equitable level to their traditional public school peers. The law currently states that districts can fund public charter school students as low as 75% of the per-capita tuition charge; HB 5225 would ensure districts must provide at least 95% of the per-capita tuition charge to follow students to public charter schools.
A sweeping social media movement has demonstrated support for the cause, leading with the cry, "public means public." Charter school families, students, and teachers all maintain that the dollars should follow the child, and CICS CEO Beth Purvis agrees: "Charter public schools are open-enrollment schools that serve neighborhood children; anything less than equitable funding unjustly punishes those same neighborhood children." With 50,000 students enrolled in charter public schools today in Chicago and another 15,000 on waitlists, charter school student populations are growing and many believe it is time to address the funding disparity.
In Springfield, participants will meet with their elected officials to share their support for the legislation. Representatives from schools across Illinois will be on hand to talk about their unique attributes and call for fair treatment for charter school students. A complete list of all participants is noted below. Parents, civic leaders and other advocates will discuss why they support high-quality charter schools in their neighborhoods. Supporters will also actively oppose bills that restrict the voice of parents and the needs of communities.
Schools in Attendance
ACE Tech Charter High School
Amandla Charter School
Bronzeville Lighthouse Charter School
Chicago International Charter School (CICS)
Chicago Math and Science Academy
Chicago Virtual Charter School
EPIC Academy High School
Erie Elementary Charter School
Instituto Health Science Career Academy
LEARN Charter School Network
Noble Network of Charter Schools
Perspectives Charter Schools
UNO Charter School Network
Urban Prep Charter Academies
Young Women's Leadership Charter School
Press Contact: Kate Proto
SOURCE Chicago International Charter School