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Elected Chicago school board discussed

Tuesday, Aug 30, 2016

* Considering the mayor’s total opposition, I’ll believe this when I see this

The Illinois Senate sponsor of the Chicago elected school board bill says the legislation will likely undergo some changes in the coming weeks.

“We have identified some areas of improvement for the bill,” state Sen. Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago) said in remarks after Monday’s City Club of Chicago talk about creating an elected school board in the city. […]

At issue is legislation that would create a 20-member elected school board in Chicago, starting in 2018. Under the bill, the state legislature would divide the city into 20 districts for the purpose of electing school board members. The school board’s chair would run citywide.

Raoul said the number of proposed school board members may be reduced in the Senate version of the bill.

“The proposal with a 20-member board may be too large,” Raoul said, adding that the legislation may also be tweaked to allow for runoff elections.

Whatever the case, Raoul is right about some of his changes, particularly the runoff aspect. Candidates should receive over half the votes, particularly with all the big money floating around out there these days and the very real potential for tons of candidates in the first couple of elections.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

27 Comments
  1. - Delimma - Tuesday, Aug 30, 16 @ 10:34 am:

    It will get vetoed unless it includes turn around agenda language.


  2. - TinyDancer(FKA Sue) - Tuesday, Aug 30, 16 @ 10:37 am:

    Let us count the ways that this convoluted system can be hijacked and gamed by big-money innocent-sounding “grassroots” organizations.


  3. - City Zen - Tuesday, Aug 30, 16 @ 10:45 am:

    Los Angeles Unified has almost 2x more students but only 7 elected board members.


  4. - Amalia - Tuesday, Aug 30, 16 @ 10:47 am:

    just so tired of elections that the prospect of one more commercial is not making me happy and this would mean tons of more commercials even if one does not live in the City!


  5. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Aug 30, 16 @ 10:51 am:

    ===system can be hijacked and gamed by big-money===

    It hasn’t been already?

    C’mon.


  6. - 39th Ward - Tuesday, Aug 30, 16 @ 11:10 am:

    So, for whom is Raoul carrying the water here? He’s smart enough to know that the high level public policy debate goes strongly against the proposal.


  7. - Dee Lay - Tuesday, Aug 30, 16 @ 11:13 am:

    Cut the board to 10 seems like an easy move.
    They could cut the alderman back too, but that’s another discussion.

    Is this a paid position? If so, make the pay a percentage of a starting teacher salary. 40% would be a good start.


  8. - TinyDancer(FKASue) - Tuesday, Aug 30, 16 @ 11:13 am:

    Rich-
    ==system can be hijacked and gamed by big-money=
    It hasn’t been already?==

    Exactly…and how does this fix it?
    Just substituting one corrupt system for another - only this one will be really complicated and expensive.


  9. - LibertyvilleNick - Tuesday, Aug 30, 16 @ 11:17 am:

    I think it’s a brilliant idea. You’ll have parents, former educators and people vested in their communities; not just private equity partners trying to sell off the System’s buildings. For once, topics at Board meetings may include things like suppliers, books and curriculum. I don’t care the size; just that it’s elected.


  10. - My button is broke... - Tuesday, Aug 30, 16 @ 11:18 am:

    Senate will amend the bill. Pass it. And the House will sit on it. Members in both chambers can say they voted for it. Next.


  11. - A guy - Tuesday, Aug 30, 16 @ 11:18 am:

    This one’s the very definition of a Sticky Wicket.


  12. - Tommy Mac - Tuesday, Aug 30, 16 @ 11:26 am:

    No one can credibly argue that the current mayoral rubber- stamp model works. Still, I share Kwame’s concerns about a 21-member elected board being an unwielding mess.

    Some sort of hybrid might work. How about a 6 or 7 member elected board with the mayor appointing the Chairman and CEO? That would combine citizen input (especially on the budget and school closings) with mayoral accountability.


  13. - LibertyvilleNick - Tuesday, Aug 30, 16 @ 11:28 am:

    Tommy Mac - to help break tie votes?


  14. - DGD - Tuesday, Aug 30, 16 @ 11:31 am:

    The typical school board in Illinois is 7 members, that should be good enough for Chicago. Unfortunately, it won’t take long for the machine to get its grubby little fingers in there…


  15. - Dan Johnson - Tuesday, Aug 30, 16 @ 11:31 am:

    Great place for instant runoff voting (like Springfield uses for overseas absentee voters). All the benefits of a runoff without the expense of a second election.


  16. - OneMan - Tuesday, Aug 30, 16 @ 11:36 am:

    I think it’s a brilliant idea. You’ll have parents, former educators and people vested in their communities; not just private equity partners trying to sell off the System’s buildings.

    Yeah, just like it is just community minded people who run for water reclamation district and tax appeals board…

    this is going to be special interest city, not just evil hedge fund managers, anyone really think the CTU isn’t going to put good money behind some candidates who will push for their interests?

    If this passes the first election is going to be entertaining as hell to watch.


  17. - Rod - Tuesday, Aug 30, 16 @ 11:40 am:

    One reason an elected school Board for CPS is now a possibility is because charter schools as a political movement could run candidates. Charter schools are going to face severe fiscal cuts in the next few years due to the collapse of CPS and Mayor Emanuel is allowing CEO Claypool to cut away at them.

    Rauner is married to charter schools and could very well see an elected school Board as benefiting charter schools. Once the increased CPS teacher vacancies, due to teachers leaving this unstable district, in numerous CPS schools become obvious to parents the exit of students will become even more significant and the CPS crisis will intensify because of the drop in state revenue. CPS is in real trouble and Claypool can’t fix it like the CTA just by packing more people on to trains and buses thereby reducing the CTA labor force. Claypool had a monoply on cheaper public transit and there was no where to flee, but education isn’t the same. CPS is hemoraging students and radical solutions become more possible.


  18. - Anon III - Tuesday, Aug 30, 16 @ 11:54 am:

    How about having an independent districting board to draw up the Bd. Member districts?

    No? I forgot, this is Illinois.


  19. - Groucho - Tuesday, Aug 30, 16 @ 11:55 am:

    I could consider an elected school board provided that CTU members are prohibited from running for the board and the CTU can not endorse or financially support candidates.

    Also, while were are trying to give parents a choice in who makes decisions about the schools, why not give them greater choice in where their kids can attend school and offer vouchers.


  20. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Aug 30, 16 @ 12:01 pm:

    ===this is going to be special interest city===

    It’s not now?


  21. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Aug 30, 16 @ 12:02 pm:

    ===could very well see an elected school Board as benefiting charter schools===

    Did you miss the March primary? Charter proponents barely mentioned charters. Their opponents wrapped those charters around their necks like anchors, however. It worked.


  22. - LibertyvilleNick - Tuesday, Aug 30, 16 @ 12:03 pm:

    OneMan-Good point. I am a victim of CPS but moved to Lake County. I’m slow.


  23. - Biker - Tuesday, Aug 30, 16 @ 12:11 pm:

    The more elected officials created with specific jobs, the better. They can’t protect all the seats at the same time. In many ways Aldermanic Districts are woefully unprepared to deal with problems that effect the entire City like police oversight, schools oversight, etc, because services to a particular ward can always be scaled back in retaliation for independent thought, or enhanced due to political alliances. The current oversight from Chicago’s Aldermen is criminally negligent for both schools and police, so what is there to lose? And if we do get an elected police and schools board, all the more reason to scale back City Council to 25 Aldercreatures.


  24. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Aug 30, 16 @ 12:12 pm:

    === I am a victim of CPS===

    In stuff like this, you’re only a victim if you want to be.


  25. - Ron - Tuesday, Aug 30, 16 @ 12:32 pm:

    LA also has a city council of 10 with a much larger population. Illinois has way too many politicians


  26. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Aug 30, 16 @ 3:19 pm:

    –I could consider an elected school board provided that CTU members are prohibited from running for the board and the CTU can not endorse or financially support candidates.–

    What would you like to call this new country where targeted classes of citizens are stripped of their rights by the government due to their lawful associations?

    Soviet Union is available.


  27. - Ron - Tuesday, Aug 30, 16 @ 9:33 pm:

    NYC has 51 council members and 8,500,000 people. Chicago has 2,700,000 people and 50 aldermen.


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