The state law governing charter schools is seemingly transparent about the need for them to be transparent: "The governing body of a charter school shall be subject to the Freedom of Information Act." But most of the 37 charter school operators in Chicago—some of which run multiple campuses—do not yet have a clear grasp of the openness required of them.
We sent each of the charters a FOIA request asking for copies of their most recent annual budgets and payrolls, including the titles and salaries of everyone on staff.
Most failed to complete the assignment satisfactorily. A handful excelled. Others made an effort but need to show further progress.
Here how they fared:
Charter failed to respond to FOIA request—and didn't even bother with a lame excuse.
Academy of Communications and Technology
Alain Locke Charter School
Betty Shabazz International Charter School
Bronzeville Lighthouse Charter Elementary School
Henry Ford Academy Power House Charter High School
Instituto Health Sciences Career Academy
LEARN Charter School Network
Young Women's Leadership Charter High School
Charter turned in assignment two and a half months late and only after a phone call to the parent (i.e., the mayor).
UNO Charter School Network
Charter expressed intent to respond but neglected to complete the assignment. Perhaps the dog ate the homework.
Chicago International Charter Schools
Galapagos Elementary Charter School
Legacy Charter Elementary School
Namaste Charter Elementary School
North Lawndale College Prep
Passages Charter Elementary School
Providence Englewood Charter—Bunche
University of Chicago Charter School
Urban Prep Academies
Charter complied with the request but the work was vague, disorganized, and often difficult to understand.
Amandla Charter High School
Charter's work was flawed but completed on time with good effort.
ACE Technical Charter High School
Erie Elementary Charter School
Gold star! Budget and payroll were a joy to read.
Academy for Global Citizenship (Elementary School)
Chicago Math and Science Academy High School
Chicago Talent Development Charter High School
Chicago Virtual Charter High School
EPIC Academy High School
KIPP Ascend Academy Chicago
Noble Network of Charter Schools
Perspectives Charter Schools
Polaris Charter Academy Elementary School