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Save Charlie's Law!

Help! Charlie's Law Under Attack! UPDATED - 6/1/17

HEAR US joined with the Law Project of the Chicago Coaliton for the Homeless to successfully fight this unenlightened effort to gut Charlie's Law. Thanks to all who helped with calls! 


charlieCharlie (c) Pat Van Doren, 1993


At this time of year (April-May) back in 1994, a small group of advocates fought an uphill battle to pass Charlie's Bill, the Illinois Education for Homeless Children Act, the first statewide law in the country that guaranteed access to school for students experiencing homelessness. The bill passed in 1994 and was signed into law.
In 2002, the federal McKinney-Vento Education for Homeless Children Act passed, largely shaped by Charlie's law, thanks to Congresswoman Judy Biggert (IL-13-R, retired) steering it through a 5-year legislative process.  
Alert attention by staff from the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless detected a threat to this law, on the state level, during the Illinois legislative session in April 2017. State Senator Chapin Rose (R-Springfield) introduced an amendment that would: 

"SB1482, SA1 amends the Illinois Education for Homeless Children Act (EHCA) to strip parents of the existing power to determine which school choice is in their own child’s “best interest” during a period of homelessness. Though SA 1 inserts reference to the federal Every Student Succeeds Act’s (ESSA) “best interest” determination process, it does not set forth the primacy of parental choice thus weakening federal and state protections for parents." (Chicago Coalition for the Homeless)


While this may appear innocous at first glance, it's a terrible and unnecessary amendment for many reasons:

û  unnecessarily interferes with and diminishes parental choice 

û  ignores best practice and creates confusion for school districts and parents

û  risks violation of federal law and the loss of federal funding

It changes a law that has been in place and successful for 23 years, jeopardizing education for tens of thousands of IL students experiencing homelessness. 


Immediately call any/as many of the Senators on the Senate Education Committee ( the list). You'll probably speak with a staff person. That's fine. Tell that person:

  • Your connection (constituent, golf pal, alum, whatever...)
  • You are calling to vehmently oppose any amendment to the IL Education for Homeless Children Act, particularly Senate Bill 1482 SA 1 (Senator Rose's amendment), which  (see UNNECESSARY AMENDMENT above).

That's it! And if you can share this with someone you know who would do the same, please do so. 


Urgent to do it now, the first few days of May, before the amendment gets further in the legislative process.   GOT IT HANDLED! THANKS!

Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with any questions! 



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