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*** UPDATED x1 - Cullerton, SDems concur *** Madigan defers consideration of CTU-backed bills until spring session

Wednesday, Oct 30, 2019 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Yesterday

At a City Hall press conference, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said the union’s bargaining team “continues to move the goalposts and bring in more issues that do not belong in any collective bargaining contract” by introducing issues that don’t belong in a contract and demanding a reduction in class time for students.

The union wants her to support a bill for an elected school board in Springfield that she opposed and changes to the state law that restricts what issues CTU can strike over, Lightfoot said.

As a mayoral candidate, Lightfoot promised to support an elected school board but she has opposed a bill supported by the union that would create a board that’s too large.“

Are we really keeping our kids out of class unless I agree to support the CTU’s full political agenda wholesale?” Lightfoot said. “If the CTU wants a deal, there’s a deal to be had, right now, on the table.”

* Today…

House Speaker Michael J. Madigan released the following statement Wednesday:

“The Illinois House of Representatives has long demonstrated its commitment to improving public schools throughout the state of Illinois, including reforming Illinois’ school funding formula to provide more money, equitably distributed, to schools across the state. Another part of our commitment has been our effort to support the Chicago Public Schools and ensure that Chicago’s voters, as well as Chicago’s teachers and school staffs, are treated equitably. To that end, I have supported—and the House has passed three times—a bill to bring an elected school board to the city of Chicago. Moreover, I have supported—and the House has twice passed—a bill to ensure that Chicago’s school personnel can negotiate over the same issues that educators in every other school district in Illinois can negotiate. The House of Representatives will continue to advocate for equitable treatment for all schools in Illinois, and will again give full consideration to these proposals in the upcoming spring session.”

Translation: “We ain’t passing those bills during the strike, CTU.”

*** UPDATE *** Press release…

Every student in Chicago deserves a high-quality neighborhood public school and every voter in the city deserves a direct say in school governance. In the upcoming spring session, the General Assembly will fully consider two bills to align school governance in Chicago with all other school districts in the state.

The first bill, House Bill 2267, sponsored by Sen. Robert Martwick and Sen. Omar Aquino, creates an elected representative school board in Chicago. The second, House Bill 2275, sponsored by Sen. Bill Cunningham, restores contract bargaining processes, including class size and staffing provisions, that were eliminated from Chicago in 1995.

“Chicago’s voters have spoken - they want an elected school board. And bringing an elected school board to Chicago has been a legislative goal of mine since 2015. I’m excited about taking the next step in making this bill into law,” Martwick said.

“Effective schools require real input from students and parents. Chicago’s families have not had that opportunity, and I’m determined to bring about an elected school board that includes representatives from across Chicago’s vibrant neighborhoods,” Aquino said. “I thank the Senate President for allowing the bill’s full consideration.”

“Funding equity and evidence-based student supports like appropriate class sizes and staffing ratios are at the core of the State’s school funding formula. Ensuring that school personnel in Chicago can negotiate over those issues will help ensure students get what they need,” Cunningham said “I look forward to working on House Bill 2275 in the upcoming spring session.”

Sen. Omar Aquino represents the 2nd Senate District. Sen. Rob Martwick represents the 10th Senate District. Sen. Bill Cunningham represents the 18th Senate District.

* From the Senate President’s office…

The Senate President has committed to working with these members on this issue in the spring session.

       

35 Comments
  1. - Bad Politician - Wednesday, Oct 30, 19 @ 12:34 pm:

    The CTU should stop acting like the children they teach. Take the deal.


  2. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Oct 30, 19 @ 12:40 pm:

    Keep it on topic, people. Your talking points that you repeat every single day are getting really old.


  3. - Sue - Wednesday, Oct 30, 19 @ 12:45 pm:

    Why give CTU any more of a stranglehold over Chicago’s future. There is nothing wrong with an appointed School Board - maybe allowing one or 2 members being active teachers is a compromise but certainly not an elected Board where CTU will end up Underwriting the candidates


  4. - The Captain - Wednesday, Oct 30, 19 @ 12:45 pm:

    I read that as him throwing the Senate under the bus. “These things you want: we passed them. Several times. Go ask the Senate.”


  5. - Blue Dog Dem - Wednesday, Oct 30, 19 @ 12:45 pm:

    Me wonders the resolve of the CTU rank and file. My daughter is close to sending out a S.O.S. to mom and dad.


  6. - Montrose - Wednesday, Oct 30, 19 @ 12:47 pm:

    That is not a surprising move by Madigan. He doesn’t have much to gain by bringing these bills up in veto.


  7. - Perrid - Wednesday, Oct 30, 19 @ 12:53 pm:

    “Settle this s*** between yourselves and keep me the heck out of it”


  8. - A Jack - Wednesday, Oct 30, 19 @ 12:55 pm:

    “Issues that don’t belong in any collective bargaining contract….”. That sounds a lot like a former Governor we all know and Illinois sent packing.


  9. - Steve - Wednesday, Oct 30, 19 @ 12:57 pm:

    - Sue -

    Maybe a fully elected school board with CTU involved is what Chicago residents want. The district has been losing population with an appointed school board. If it doesn’t work then something else might need to be tried .


  10. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Oct 30, 19 @ 12:58 pm:

    Not surprised Madigan has no interest in in making this the new focus of the veto session. At this stage, it seems unlikely to change anything about this strike, and the next strike is 5 years out. On top of not wanting to stick his hand in that particular hornet’s nest, what’s the rush?


  11. - Question - Wednesday, Oct 30, 19 @ 1:11 pm:

    Anyone think this will impact housing prices in Chicago? This strike is going on far too long.


  12. - Anon - Wednesday, Oct 30, 19 @ 1:12 pm:

    Is this type of request (supporting legislation at the state level) or even the TIF fight ever incorporated into bargaining agreements? This seems unusual to me to be an issue, but does it occur elsewhere?


  13. - Just Me 2 - Wednesday, Oct 30, 19 @ 1:12 pm:

    Wait, What? The CTU wanted all these things passed during the Veto Session? I thought they wanted a commitment from the Mayor to support it in the Spring.

    Now I’m forced to believe CTU was purposefully delaying this strike to get us to the Veto Session, which is really inappropriate if that is the case.


  14. - twowaystreet - Wednesday, Oct 30, 19 @ 1:18 pm:

    Who would have thought Lightfoot would find an ally in Madigan?


  15. - Ashland Adam - Wednesday, Oct 30, 19 @ 1:22 pm:

    The action - if there were any on these bills - would be on the Senate side, as the elected school board and collective bargaining bills both passed the House in Spring, 2019.

    Not a lot for the House to do; its the Senate where leadership keeps both bills jammed up.


  16. - Ed Equity - Wednesday, Oct 30, 19 @ 1:27 pm:

    The only way up is to hit the bottom. Give them everything they want and more. Never mind how anything will be paid for, the faster CPS admits it has a problem, the faster it can begin a 12 step recovery program.


  17. - Downstate Illinois - Wednesday, Oct 30, 19 @ 1:38 pm:

    Every once in a while Madigan reminds everyone he’s often the only adult left in the room. Good call on his part.


  18. - Enviro - Wednesday, Oct 30, 19 @ 1:46 pm:

    The ball is in Senate President John Cullerton’s court.


  19. - City Zen - Wednesday, Oct 30, 19 @ 1:57 pm:

    Has the city considered a partially-elected school board in which the appointed officials outnumber the elected officials by one? Could be a first step to a fully-elected school board yet allow the mayor to still have majority control, albeit tenuous.

    CTU representation on the school board wouldn’t be the end of the world.


  20. - City Zen - Wednesday, Oct 30, 19 @ 1:58 pm:

    Ed Equity - That’s my thoughts. Does CTU really want to helm this ship of fools?


  21. - Dybalaton - Wednesday, Oct 30, 19 @ 2:30 pm:

    Who drafted the proposed CPS elected school board legislation? Why would we want or need that many people on a school board? Is it paid?


  22. - Sue - Wednesday, Oct 30, 19 @ 2:43 pm:

    Steve - the problem with an elected Board is that CTU would throw the resources into the election process and totally dominate the selection. Most everyday folks don’t have the time or inclination to get the signatures and raise the money for an election. Why do you think CTU wants an elected Board. Go that route and we lose all control over CPS and the bargaining process. Why not just let CTU write their own agreement. Geez


  23. - Chicago Jamie - Wednesday, Oct 30, 19 @ 2:43 pm:

    Overheard on the picket line this morning: AFT is offering strikers no interest loans through a credit union.


  24. - Ron Burgundy - Wednesday, Oct 30, 19 @ 2:46 pm:

    The concern has been that CTU backed candidates would take over the board and be overly generous to the Union in negotiations. The theory being that voters aren’t likely to be engaged in school board elections and the CTU has the money, workers and votes to win low turnout races. They would probably have to get friendly candidates rather than actual current or retired teacher members, however, due to conflicts of interest. It would look awful and might be illegal to have a member or members voting to approve contracts affecting their own salaries, pensions, etc.


  25. - Montrose - Wednesday, Oct 30, 19 @ 2:47 pm:

    “Steve - the problem with an elected Board is that CTU would throw the resources into the election process and totally dominate the selection. Most everyday folks don’t have the time or inclination to get the signatures and raise the money for an election. Why do you think CTU wants an elected Board. Go that route and we lose all control over CPS and the bargaining process. Why not just let CTU write their own agreement. Geez”

    Yes. CTU will do that. You don’t think the Mayor will bankroll her candidates for the school board? There will be lots of money flowing to candidates on either side.


  26. - Steve - Wednesday, Oct 30, 19 @ 2:58 pm:

    - Sue -

    You are probably right but big city school districts don’t seem to work : so this might speed up the move towards real change like breaking up the size of CPS or handing over the district to a private operator .


  27. - CommonSenseCary - Wednesday, Oct 30, 19 @ 3:02 pm:

    Just what Chicago needs- more elected positions with millions of dollars thrown in, and more electeds who don’t have a grasp on policy or law.


  28. - City Zen - Wednesday, Oct 30, 19 @ 3:12 pm:

    “Chicago’s voters have spoken - they want an elected school board.”

    Bet none of them asked for 20 school board members.


  29. - low level - Wednesday, Oct 30, 19 @ 3:15 pm:

    I just cant help but think had any one of a few of the other candidates for Chicago mayor been elected, this strike would last about three months. Apart from their first choice, Preckwinkle, Lightfoot was one of the strongest union candidates in the race - especially for CTU issues.

    Good for Madigan not moving any CTU bills. Elected school
    Board is a horrible idea. You might have tax hikes and other controversial issues decided by structured roll calls or the kind of legislative log rolling we see in Springfield


  30. - Thomas Paine - Wednesday, Oct 30, 19 @ 3:19 pm:

    Seems like Democratic lawmakers are trying to help the process along by taking a few sticking points off the table and offering the CTU a carrot.


  31. - OneMan - Wednesday, Oct 30, 19 @ 3:40 pm:

    Well an elected pro-CTU school board would have two challenges, you still have the same money issues and now are negotiating with an entity that has fewer levers to increase revenue.
    Also an elected school board can’t do jack about all the other stuff the CTU wants to negotiate on “we want rent control” what can an elected sb do on that.
    If you want an elected SB you get a complete decouple with the city and end up with 20 education aldermen some of whom are going to seek to enrich themselves in the process.


  32. - Just Me 2 - Wednesday, Oct 30, 19 @ 3:58 pm:

    Why do people care about elected school board, but not park district or CTA?


  33. - Chris - Wednesday, Oct 30, 19 @ 5:18 pm:

    Can we get them to reduce the size of the city council at the same time? Make half the aldermen school board members immediately, and the whittle it down over a couple of staggered elections from that 25 to something in the 7-15 range. /s (partial)

    LAUSD (734k students—almost 2x CPS) manages with 7 members.


  34. - Etown - Wednesday, Oct 30, 19 @ 5:56 pm:

    CTU needs to have some of their members understand word compromise


  35. - low level - Wednesday, Oct 30, 19 @ 8:40 pm:

    == Just what Chicago needs- more elected positions with millions of dollars thrown in, and more electeds who don’t have a grasp on policy or law.==

    Absolutely 100% spot on.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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