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*** UPDATED x1 *** House overwhelmingly approves elected Chicago school board bill

Thursday, Mar 3, 2016

* The House just voted 110-4 to pass this bill

Provides for the election of the Chicago Board of Education at the general primary election in 2018 only as a nonpartisan election on a separate ballot. Provides that a member of the Chicago Board of Education shall be elected at each consolidated election thereafter. Makes related changes. Amends the Chicago School District Article of the School Code. Provides that a person shall be a U.S. citizen and registered voter and shall have been a resident of the city and the electoral district for at least one year immediately preceding his or her election. Sets forth provisions concerning nominating petitions and ballots. Sets forth provisions providing that the City of Chicago shall be subdivided into 20 electoral districts by the General Assembly for seats on the Chicago Board of Education. Sets forth provisions providing that in the year following each decennial census, the General Assembly shall redistrict the electoral districts to reflect the results of each decennial census.

I’m currently awaiting a response from the Senate President’s office about where he, a staunch Mayor Rahm Emanuel ally, stands…



*** UPDATE *** From Cullerton’s spokesman…

Under review

He’s sounding like Steve Brown more and more every day. /snark

- Posted by Rich Miller        


26 Comments
  1. - jim - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 1:43 pm:

    that will solve everything. elect a school board to make bad decisions to replace an appointed school board to make bad decisions.


  2. - My New Handle - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 1:45 pm:

    Elected members of City Colleges board of trustees would also be in order.


  3. - Anon - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 1:48 pm:

    A huge defeat for Rahm Emanuel. He opposed such a move in the past and it looks like the legislators abandoned him today. Big win for CTU and parents.

    Chicago mayors had control of school board appointments since Republican mayors held office at City Hall.

    An elected board of trustees for the City Colleges of Chicago will be next.


  4. - Chicago Hope - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 1:49 pm:

    Let’s see….CPS is near insolvent because the General Assembly, in its infinite wisdom, requires it–and it alone–to pay the soaring costs of teacher pensions, and the General Assembly’s answer is…..20 new politicians?


  5. - the Cardinal - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 1:53 pm:

    New Board first action Raise Prop taxes to levels of suburbs.


  6. - NSideLady - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 1:53 pm:

    Excellent! I hope the Senate affirms this repudiation of mayoral control. Daley and Emanuel both have done a dismal job and we need to restore accountability to the public education system in Chicago.


  7. - Chicago Hope - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 1:56 pm:

    =New Board first action Raise Prop taxes to level of suburbs=

    Uhm, you’ll need the legislature to lift the cap. Think they’ll be as courageous on that vote?


  8. - From the 'Dale to HP - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 1:57 pm:

    Note to Rauner and the Frats: Rahm has no pull in Springfield. If he did, this would never ever have happened.

    So what’s your Plan C, Governor?


  9. - Anon - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 2:00 pm:

    Chicago is the only public school district and the only community college district without elections. Voters have input everywhere else.

    In these bad times, the “Chancellor” of the City Colleges of Chicago recommended a $35,000.00 performance bonus for herself last December on top of a $250,000.00 salary.

    At least the voters could object at the College of Du Page when administrators behaved badly.


  10. - Ravenswood Right Winger - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 2:01 pm:

    Any chance the legislature passes legislation requiring the Board of Trustees to be elected like the way it was before Governor Edgar?


  11. - Rod - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 2:08 pm:

    I think this is really interesting because most Republicans voted for the bill even though the Republican bill HB4498 would have postponed an elected CPS Board while an appointed Board supposedly fixed up CPS. Even Rep Pritchard who was one of the sponsors of HB 4498 voted in favor of an elected CPS Board.

    But really if you ran right now for the CPS Board of Education what the heck would be your platform, clearly you could not run in support of an austerity budget. I agree its a defeat for Mayor Emanuel, especially since the Speaker supported the bill, but its also a defeat for Governor Rauner too.


  12. - Anon - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 2:27 pm:

    Emanuel even lost D’Amico on this vote.

    It is difficult to imagine such a vote occurring two years ago. Rahm Emanuel looks like a lame duck.


  13. - Team Sleep - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 2:39 pm:

    The no votes were weird: Currie, Durkin, Leitch and Sosnowski. I maybe get Currie and Durkin, but the other two seem off.


  14. - Betsy - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 2:51 pm:

    === Any chance the legislature passes legislation requiring the Board of Trustees to be elected like the way it was before Governor Edgar? ===

    Ravenswood Right Winger, that would be great. Gives all of us a good baseline on partisan makeup of the state depending on the general election voting for the UI Trustees.


  15. - Rod - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 2:57 pm:

    Sosnowski, along with Durkin and Pritchard were sponsors of HB 4498 which delayed the elected school Board until after an appointed Board supposedly fixed up CPS. So Sosnowski and Durkin were actually consistent with their prior positions, whereas Pritchard was not.


  16. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 3:08 pm:

    I know this bill had a ton of support, but I just couldn’t get on-board. We got rid of the elected board to bring some accountability to CPS. You don’t like the schools? Take it out on the Mayor.

    Obviously that hasn’t worked too well. But I think an elected school board will have much less accountability and will put CTU in position to dominate its membership. Not an ideal outcome if you ask me.

    But yeah, nobody asked me.


  17. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 3:12 pm:

    ===You don’t like the schools? Take it out on the Mayor===

    When has that ever once happened?


  18. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 3:18 pm:

    I think it happened every election Rich. Seriously, why do you think Daley never proposed a major tax hike for schools? There are plenty of voters who don’t want CPS to get another nickel. Daley and Rahm are representing them. That may not be a majority, but it’s definitely a plurality.

    Like I said, it hasn’t worked out too well. But let CTU control the school board and see what happens if they ever put a tax hike referendum on the ballot.


  19. - Mary Sunshine - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 3:21 pm:

    For those who still say any election would be dominated by CTU interests, you’re a bit behind in terms of electoral politics in Chicago as of late. Groups like Stand for Children and others have as much if not more in the way of resources than the union. Look to the race to replace outgoing Senator Willie Delgado; that outcome will be very relevant to this discussion.


  20. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 3:41 pm:

    Have you lost your mind, 47th Ward?

    Every poll consistently shows Chicagoans support the CTU and their neighborhood schools.

    Mayors don’t propose raising taxes because people don’t like taxes…not because people don’t like schools.

    Mayor elections are an ineffective tool for driving innovation in schools because incumbent mayors can raise millions for their re-election, regardless of how the schools perform, because mayoral elections are not funded by CPS parents.


  21. - Rod - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 3:53 pm:

    47th ward “We got rid of the elected board to bring some accountability to CPS.” CPS as far as I know never has had an elected Board of Education. In 1872 the Illinois State Legislature established a Board of Education, with members appointed by the mayor, to oversee all aspects of public education in Chicago. In 1988, the Illinois State legislature passed the Chicago School Reform Act of 1988.

    The 1988 law also abolished the then existing 11-member Board of Education. The law expanded the Board of Education to 15 and created a School Board Nominating Commission, composed of 23 parent and community representatives from LSCs across the city and five members appointed by the mayor. The Commission screened candidates and gave the mayor a slate of three candidates for each vacant position on the 15-member board. The mayor had 30 days to choose the 15 board members from the list submitted by the Nominating Commission. If the mayor rejected all three slated candidates for a particular slot, the commission had to come up with three more. The mayor’s choices had to be approved by the City Council.

    In 1995, the Republican-controlled legislature, with the support of Mayor Richard Daley, the business community, and the governor of Illinois, passed the Chicago School Reform Amendatory Act. The 1995 law gave the mayor sole authority to appoint a five-member School Reform Board of Trustees to serve through 1999. Thereafter, the mayor was to appoint a seven-member board with staggered, four-year terms. That’s what we have today.


  22. - Enviro - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 4:13 pm:

    An elected school board will be accountable to the voters. The appointed school board is only accountable to the mayor. This has not had an ideal outcome for the students of Chicago Public Schools.


  23. - Annonin' - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 4:26 pm:

    Can’t go wrong sampling Brown…worked well for decades.


  24. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 4:30 pm:

    YDD, I may have lost my mind. Anything is possible. I also see a coalition of South Side and other white ethnic Catholics who consider their parochial school tuition as the same thing as the CPS levy. They are quite content to keep CPS under-funded. I also remember quite vividly that every time RMD lost a City Council vote, it was when he asked them to vote to hike property taxes. If you don’t think Daley was intentional in his leadership of CPS, I can’t help you.


  25. - Nuke the Whales - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 5:59 pm:

    So is this sort of an admission that we don’t need 50 wards?


  26. - Anonymous - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 6:19 pm:

    Chicago used to have 35 wards with 70 aldermen (two per ward). The 50 ward plan was actually a reduction.


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