Jim Anderson -- Illinois Radio Network

The candidates for governor differ on charter schools.

Charter schools are taxpayer funded, but run by independent non-profit organizations.  Bruce Rauner has supported charter schools with his checkbook to the tune of millions, and he’s for their continued presence on the education scene.

“Charter schools aren’t perfect. They are not the ideal answer.  Not every charter school does a great job and those that fail should close. But charter schools should be an option,” he said.

Gov. Pat Quinn says charters sap support from regular public schools, with no indication that they produce better results.

“Public education is the heart and soul of Illinois’ economy.  We’ve gotta invest in that public education.  I’m running against a billionaire who wants to give himself a $1 million tax cut, and have savage cuts in our public schools,” he said.

Quinn favors a moratorium on new charter schools.

An underlying issue in this debate is that charter schools are mostly non-union and have resisted efforts of teachers to unionize, and the teacher pay is less than in regular public schools.

In Illinois, 63,000 students attend charter schools on 148 campuses.