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D-300 to push bill delaying charters

Leader will visit Capitol on Tuesday

Published: Sunday, April 28, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

CARPENTERSVILLE – District 300 Superintendent Michael Bregy will travel to Springfield on Tuesday to voice support for a bill that would place a one-year moratorium on virtual charter schools in the state.

Bregy’s announcement comes weeks after district board members unanimously rejected a proposed online-only charter school that would take tax dollars away from the Carpentersville-based district and 17 others in the Fox Valley region.

“Our board strongly opposed this proposal from [Virtual Learning Solutions] because of its severe flaws and deficiencies, such as the lack of support for students with special needs and absence of extracurricular activities,” Bregy said in a message distributed to district parents Friday.

Virtual Learning Solutions, a recently formed nonprofit, had proposed partnering with for-profit K12 Inc., a Virginia company that would handle the day-to-day curriculum and administrative duties of the Fox Valley charter.

All 18 districts in the Fox Valley rejected the proposal. Virtual Learning has said it would appeal the decision to a state charter commission.

The Illinois Senate’s education panel is scheduled to discuss a bill that would suspend the creation of online charters for one year to allow state regulators time to create governing guidelines on virtual charters.

Bregy said that he hopes to testify about the bill in front of the panel, before the committee possibly moves the bill to the Senate floor for a vote. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia, D-Aurora, cleared the House on April 17 by a 80-36-1 vote.

Bregy also plans to visit local legislators Tuesday about Gov. Pat Quinn’s proposed transportation cuts to school districts. The proposal would reduce the district’s transportation funding from $1.8 million to $60,000 next school year, the district estimates.

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