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CPS Releases List of Charter Schools Refusing to Use CPS Background Check Process

22 November 2017

131 of 142 Schools Will Be Using CPS Background Check Process; Names of the Five Operators That Refused to Improve Hiring Practices Have Been Released Today

CPS Office of Communications

Phone: 773-553-1620
Twitter: @chipubschools
Facebook: chicagopublicschools

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

CHICAGO - As part of Chicago Public Schools’ effort to improve communication with charter and contract school operators and compensate for provisions in state law separating charter and district human resources practices, Chicago Public Schools announced last month that it was requiring that all charter, contract and ALOP campuses to use CPS’ background check process or have their refusal be made public. After being provided with an opportunity to transition to CPS’ process and being given an understanding of the benefits of this process, the following school operators have chosen not to use the district’s background check process:

Academy for Global Citizenship Charter School

  • L.E.A.R.N. Charter School (All 7 campuses)
  • The Montessori School of Englewood Charter
  • Namaste Charter School
  • Providence Englewood Charter School

“Families deserve the comfort of being able to send their children to a school that utilizes the best possible background checks to ensure all employees meet the highest standards for employment,” said CPS CEO Forrest Claypool. “We are taking steps to help address historically insufficient communication between CPS and outside operators, and we are pleased that the vast majority of operators have chosen to utilize our background checks and receive our assistance during the hiring process. We will advocate for legislative changes to require all schools to use our process, and in the meantime we will maintain a public list of all schools that refuse to improve their hiring practices.”

All schools in Illinois are required to conduct background checks prior to hiring employees, but state law is not specific regarding who must conduct the background check. CPS is requiring all charter, contract and ALOP campuses utilize CPS’ background check process so that the district can adjudicate background check results with the same process it uses for its own employees and provide a recommendation for how CPS would handle each applicant’s situation. While CPS cannot mandate their participation, the district is making public any operators that refuse to comply. If charter operators don’t participate, CPS faces legal restrictions in sharing information about employees on the CPS Do Not Hire (DNH) List.

While the district has successfully brought the vast majority of school operators over to the district’s background check process, the small number of operators not utilizing this resource is unacceptable. To address this, CPS is committed to working with state legislators to amend the statute and require all operators to use CPS to conduct background checks.

A list of operators that do not utilize the CPS background check process will be posted at and updated if any of the operators choose to utilize this important resource.

Chicago Public Schools serves 371,000 students in 646 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school district.