* Greg Hinz on some new push-back against Sen. Rob Martwick’s elected school board bill…
In a letter to Senate President Don Harmon, House Speaker Chris Welch and leaders of the Latino and Black caucuses, groups including the Chicago Urban League and Latino Policy Forum stop short of endorsing a bill proposed by Lightfoot to elect only a few members of the board, allowing the mayor to continue to appoint most.
But the letters emphasize the importance of certain clauses that are in Lightfoot’s bill, but not the CTU’s. Included are steps to help undocumented immigrants have a voice, limits on campaign contributions and a requirement that any candidate have prior service on a Local School Council.
The net effect may be to boost chances of a compromise and slow momentum of the CTU’s bill, which easily passed the House last week and could come up for a vote in the Senate as soon as later this week, according to its Senate sponsor, Sen. Robert Martwick, D-Chicago. […]
“What we’re trying to do is slow down the process,” [Latino Policy Forum President Sylvia Puente], who said she did discuss the letter with Lightfoot’s office before sending it.
One quick thing. The House bill is different than the Senate bill. The House bill, which passed the full chamber last week, would sunset the entire law after five years. I asked why there’s a sunset provision in the House bill last week and have yet to hear back.
* You can read the entire letter here. Signatories…
Tom Vanden Berk, CEO, UCAN
Karina Ayala-Bermejo, President & CEO, Instituto del Progreso Latino
Tasha Green Cruzat, Executive Director, Voices for Illinois Children
Ricardo Estrada, President & CEO, Metropolitan Family Services
Jim Hayes, President & CEO, YMCA Metropolitan Chicago
Dorri McWhorter, CEO, YWCA Metropolitan Chicago
Rev. James T. Meeks, Founder & Sr. Pastor, Salem Baptist Church
Sylvia Puente, President & CEO, Latino Policy Forum
Raul I. Raymundo, CEO, The Resurrection Project
Audra Wilson, President & CEO, Shriver Center for Poverty Law
Karen Freeman-Wilson, President & CEO, Chicago Urban League
* For context, Rep. Delia Ramirez (D-Chicago) issued this press release shortly after the House passed her bill…
“HB 2908 creates an elected and representative school board for CPS, putting the district in line with every other public school district in the state which gets to elect school board members. Chicago parents deserve to have a say in who represents them and their children’s interests, on the city’s school board,” Ramirez said.
“School boards are a critical part of our education system and should be transparent and open to public input. For too long, CPS parents have not had a voice in the process as mayoral-appointed school boards unilaterally closed schools, increased classroom sizes, and eliminated vital related services that destabilized communities. Educators and parents have been working towards this policy parity for years now. The data shows that the overwhelming majority of our families favor an elected school board and the democratic thing to do is make that happen.”
The bill now goes to the Illinois Senate for further deliberation between legislators and local stakeholders. Rep. Ramirez urges swift passage so that the families and children served by CPS can finally have a fair say in how their schools are run.
Sen. Martwick has picked up sponsorship in the Senate.