* From Illinois Watchdog…
The Illinois House has approved a three-year ban on virtual charter schools, the moratorium coming shortly after a one-year ban expired.
“It’s an amazing story about what they want to do here in Illinois. We are going absolutely backward in terms of education reform and education innovation,” said Ted Dabrowski, vice president of policy at the Illinois Policy Institute.
Much of the political pressure for the ban came from teachers unions, Dabrowski said.
“The school districts in Illinois have massive power. We have 868 school districts, the most in the nation, and they have massive power to keep out charter schools. They want to keep out competition, and so the unions and a couple of the legislators…have worked very hard to block reforms,” Dabrowski said. “There’s a lot of politics as usual.”
* But Dabrowski isn’t just on the Illinois Policy Institute’s payroll. From a June, 2013 Daily Herald story…
A controversial push to open the Illinois Virtual Charter School at Fox River Valley in August ended during Tuesday’s state charter school commission meeting, barely 24 hours after the applicants withdrew their pending appeals in a surprise change of course.
School boards in 18 districts from Algonquin to Plainfield refused to grant a charter to Virtual Learning Solutions, a fledgling nonprofit that formed last winter to apply for the school. The applicants appealed to the state commission for a second opinion, launching a process that was expected to wrap up in late July after public hearings and interviews by commissioners.
Then, on May 24, Gov. Pat Quinn approved a one-year moratorium on the establishment of new virtual charter schools, throwing the appeal process into limbo. […]
Ted Dabrowski, a Wilmette resident who works as vice president of policy at the Illinois Policy Institute, took over as president of Virtual Learning Solutions when Sharnell Jackson resigned the week the moratorium became law. He said Monday it was “obvious” the one-year moratorium required his group’s project be put on hold.
Dabrowski had served as the company’s treasurer before taking over as president.
*** UPDATE *** A peevish response from the Illinois Policy Institute…
Do you even care about facts? Ted is a VOLUNTEER at that school, no comp, only gives his time because he cares about educating kids who are under served by the traditional system.
You are wrongly feeding the union backed narrative that something is going on that is not. What is going on is the public system continues to fail the poor and minorities and it is the unions that are preventing choices that help the very people they lock into the failing system.
Helping to inaccurately disparage good people who volunteer their time, whether you agree with their policies or not, is appalling. The school is a non profit, and Ted is a volunteer board member. You should have pointed that out, he has no financial interest in that charter or the expansion of charters. To say or imply otherwise is to mislead your readers. Meanwhile, the unions DO have a financial interest, as do local school boards, in blocking charters that would help children.
What a sad commentary.
Illinois Policy Institute
Illinois Policy Action