Chicago Needs an Elected School Board

Chicago Needs an Elected School Board


There is only one school district in the State of Illinois that does NOT have an elected school board, and that is the Chicago Public Schools.  Currently all members of the Chicago Board of Education are appointed by Mayor and are not accountable to the parents, students or communities they serve. It is time for a change. That is why I am proud to cosponsor HB 4268 which would change Chicago’s school board from appointees to an elected school board.


We know about the recent pay-to-play scandals rocking CPS. But for our neighborhoods there are so many other reasons that we need to take back control of our schools. We have seen our neighborhood schools losing resources for enrichment programs such as music, art, sports, foreign languages, advanced placement and special education. This year, CPS is proposing over $8.7 million in cuts to schools in our area.


It is also worth noting that at the same time the Board is cutting our schools and asking for a property tax increase, we will be paying $238 million in termination fees to banks and investors to get us out of interest rate swaps and other financial deals that the CPS Board itself instigated.  The amount that is being cut to local schools and programs citywide is just about equal to the amount that is being paid out in the toxic swap termination agreements.


For these and so many other reasons, I think it is time to have an elected school board to represent our interests and values.  To learn more,  please join me for a Town Hall meeting on Thursday Nov. 12 at 7:00 the Institute of Cultural Affairs (Fifth City Room), 4750 N. Sheridan.  Join me, education experts from around the city, Local School Council members and interested neighbors to discuss and mobilize to make an elected school board a reality.


Also, while it is important to urge my colleagues in the legislature to pass HB4268 to create an elected school board, it is important to have the bill signed by the governor. Gov. Rauner has publicly stated his opposition to an elected school board, and his preference for a Board made up of appointed insiders.  Join me in gathering petition signatures to urge Governor Rauner to listen to families of Chicago, change his mind and sign HB4628 into law. You can print out a copy of the petition here:  Elected Chicago School Board Petition.