Day 2

The who’s who of the online charter school plan
By Tara Garcia Mathewson

Suburban school board members from Algonquin to Plainfield received a proposal February 14 for a virtual charter school that would cross 18 school district boundaries. It was a Valentine’s Day surprise from Virtual Learning Solutions, a fledgling nonprofit that had incorporated with the state just a month before.

Board members reviewed the proposal and prepared hundreds of questions for public hearings scheduled throughout March and April. Most of those questions could not be answered by representatives of the applicants.

Elected officials across the region suspect Virtual Learning Solutions board members of disregarding local decision-making power, preparing instead for an appeal option with a state commission.

In Carpentersville-based Community Unit District 300, board member Chris Stanton said the presentation by VLS Secretary Ted Dabrowski didn’t even inspire the confidence to let the proposed charter applicants “baby-sit my dog,” let alone teach the district’s children.

“In my mind, and this is my personal opinion, it’s just another attempt to siphon off dollars from a public school system that’s already stretched beyond its means and divert these funds to these folks that have all these high-level contacts in the state,” Stanton said.

Read the full article here.

A sidebar about the unusual speed at which this charter school proposal was presented is here, along with a graphic timeline.


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