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1    AN ACT concerning education.
2    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
3represented in the General Assembly:
4    Section 5. The School Code is amended by changing Section
527A-5 as follows:
6    (105 ILCS 5/27A-5)
7    Sec. 27A-5. Charter school; legal entity; requirements.
8    (a) A charter school shall be a public, nonsectarian,
9nonreligious, non-home based, and non-profit school. A charter
10school shall be organized and operated as a nonprofit
11corporation or other discrete, legal, nonprofit entity
12authorized under the laws of the State of Illinois.
13    (b) A charter school may be established under this Article
14by creating a new school or by converting an existing public
15school or attendance center to charter school status. Beginning
16on the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 93rd
17General Assembly, in all new applications submitted to the
18State Board or a local school board to establish a charter
19school in a city having a population exceeding 500,000,
20operation of the charter school shall be limited to one campus.
21The changes made to this Section by this amendatory Act of the
2293rd General Assembly do not apply to charter schools existing
23or approved on or before the effective date of this amendatory



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2    (b-5) In this subsection (b-5), "virtual-schooling" means
3the teaching of courses through online methods with online
4instructors, rather than the instructor and student being at
5the same physical location. "Virtual-schooling" includes
6without limitation instruction provided by full-time, online
7virtual schools.
8    From April 1, 2013 through April 1, 2014, there is a
9moratorium on the establishment of charter schools with
10virtual-schooling components in school districts other than a
11school district organized under Article 34 of this Code. This
12moratorium does not apply to a charter school with
13virtual-schooling components existing or approved prior to
14April 1, 2013 or to the renewal of the charter of a charter
15school with virtual-schooling components already approved
16prior to April 1, 2013.
17    On or before March 1, 2014, the Commission shall submit to
18the General Assembly a report on the effect of
19virtual-schooling, including without limitation the effect on
20student performance, the costs associated with
21virtual-schooling, and issues with oversight. The report shall
22include policy recommendations for virtual-schooling.
23    (c) A charter school shall be administered and governed by
24its board of directors or other governing body in the manner
25provided in its charter. The governing body of a charter school
26shall be subject to the Freedom of Information Act and the Open



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1Meetings Act.
2    (d) A charter school shall comply with all applicable
3health and safety requirements applicable to public schools
4under the laws of the State of Illinois.
5    (e) Except as otherwise provided in the School Code, a
6charter school shall not charge tuition; provided that a
7charter school may charge reasonable fees for textbooks,
8instructional materials, and student activities.
9    (f) A charter school shall be responsible for the
10management and operation of its fiscal affairs including, but
11not limited to, the preparation of its budget. An audit of each
12charter school's finances shall be conducted annually by an
13outside, independent contractor retained by the charter
14school. Annually, by December 1, every charter school must
15submit to the State Board a copy of its audit and a copy of the
16Form 990 the charter school filed that year with the federal
17Internal Revenue Service.
18    (g) A charter school shall comply with all provisions of
19this Article, the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Act, and
20its charter. A charter school is exempt from all other State
21laws and regulations in the School Code governing public
22schools and local school board policies, except the following:
23        (1) Sections 10-21.9 and 34-18.5 of the School Code
24    regarding criminal history records checks and checks of the
25    Statewide Sex Offender Database and Statewide Murderer and
26    Violent Offender Against Youth Database of applicants for



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1    employment;
2        (2) Sections 24-24 and 34-84A of the School Code
3    regarding discipline of students;
4        (3) The Local Governmental and Governmental Employees
5    Tort Immunity Act;
6        (4) Section 108.75 of the General Not For Profit
7    Corporation Act of 1986 regarding indemnification of
8    officers, directors, employees, and agents;
9        (5) The Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act;
10        (6) The Illinois School Student Records Act;
11        (7) Section 10-17a of the School Code regarding school
12    report cards; and
13        (8) The P-20 Longitudinal Education Data System Act.
14    The change made by Public Act 96-104 to this subsection (g)
15is declaratory of existing law.
16    (h) A charter school may negotiate and contract with a
17school district, the governing body of a State college or
18university or public community college, or any other public or
19for-profit or nonprofit private entity for: (i) the use of a
20school building and grounds or any other real property or
21facilities that the charter school desires to use or convert
22for use as a charter school site, (ii) the operation and
23maintenance thereof, and (iii) the provision of any service,
24activity, or undertaking that the charter school is required to
25perform in order to carry out the terms of its charter.
26However, a charter school that is established on or after the



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1effective date of this amendatory Act of the 93rd General
2Assembly and that operates in a city having a population
3exceeding 500,000 may not contract with a for-profit entity to
4manage or operate the school during the period that commences
5on the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 93rd
6General Assembly and concludes at the end of the 2004-2005
7school year. Except as provided in subsection (i) of this
8Section, a school district may charge a charter school
9reasonable rent for the use of the district's buildings,
10grounds, and facilities. Any services for which a charter
11school contracts with a school district shall be provided by
12the district at cost. Any services for which a charter school
13contracts with a local school board or with the governing body
14of a State college or university or public community college
15shall be provided by the public entity at cost.
16    (i) In no event shall a charter school that is established
17by converting an existing school or attendance center to
18charter school status be required to pay rent for space that is
19deemed available, as negotiated and provided in the charter
20agreement, in school district facilities. However, all other
21costs for the operation and maintenance of school district
22facilities that are used by the charter school shall be subject
23to negotiation between the charter school and the local school
24board and shall be set forth in the charter.
25    (j) A charter school may limit student enrollment by age or
26grade level.



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1    (k) If the charter school is approved by the Commission,
2then the Commission charter school is its own local education
4(Source: P.A. 96-104, eff. 1-1-10; 96-105, eff. 7-30-09;
596-107, eff. 7-30-09; 96-734, eff. 8-25-09; 96-1000, eff.
67-2-10; 97-152, eff. 7-20-11; 97-154, eff. 1-1-12; 97-813, eff.
8    Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon
9becoming law.