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Public Weighs In on Quest Charter Academy

PEORIA (HOI) — Students and administrators in Peoria pushed for a renewal of Quest Charter Academy on Monday night. It all happened during a board of education hearing. While the meeting was packed with supporters of a renewal, Peoria’s Federation of Teachers says renewal will only hurt the school district.

“This is not about children, this is about a bunch of people who don’t even live in Peoria getting another 800,000 probably closer to a million dollars more than they got last year,” said a former PPS teacher.

The retired teacher’s messaged echoed several critics including the Peoria Teacher’s Union who says the charter school should not be part of the PPS system.

“The money quest drains from District 150 is detrimental to our district and thereby to our community,” said Federation of Teachers President Adkins-Dutro. He added that in addition to a lack of certified teachers, he said the charter lacks proper oversight.

“By no metric has quest been successful and there’s no measure that should lead you to believe that the Quest charter should be renewed,” he said.

However, during Monday’s meeting, several current students and teachers spoke about the necessity of having quest as a part of the district. One included Quest’s Student Body President who said thanks to Quest, she’s now training to become an EMT.

“I had the teachers, I had administration, people who didn’t know me at first, they took the time to believe in me,” said the student.

Before public comment, the board also heard a presentation from the school. School officials boasted about their programs with colleges and Caterpillar, also citing that they were one of only two schools in the PPS system classified as commendable by the state. The board will use this information from the presentation and public comment for when they vote on this rechartering later this year.

Andy Weber

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