Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Thursday signed legislation ushering in an elected school board in Chicago over the strong objections of Mayor Lori Lightfoot.
That legislation, which the governor signed into law without the fanfare that has accompanied other bill signings, would create a 21-seat board in January 2025, initially split between 11 mayoral appointees — including the board president — and 10 elected members. […]
In a statement, Pritzker said the plan laid out in the bill he signed will “help students and their families have a strong voice in important decisions about the education system in Chicago.
“I applaud the members of the General Assembly for working together on behalf of their constituents to pass legislation that required compromise and thoughtful deliberation,” Pritzker said. “I look forward to ongoing conversations with the General Assembly and mayor, in particular about the district’s finances, board members’ compensation and campaign rules.” […]
But a high level source close to Pritzker said the governor opted to avoid such an event for the school board bill because he didn’t want to “poke [Lightfoot] in the eye” on what was for her a major defeat. […]
“If Springfield draws these districts based on population, the true diversity of CPS could be under-represented on the Board … While the current language of HB 2908 fails to address these concerns, I am hopeful that by working together with the bill’s sponsors and other stakeholders, we can agree to trailer bill language that does so.” [Lightfoot wrote in a letter to Pritzker].
I’m not sure I quite follow her logic about basing districts on population. Doing that has made the Illinois General Assembly, the Chicago City Council and most other bodies quite diverse.
* More new laws…
* Bills expanding access to mental health care are among several signed into law
* Pritzker signs law repealing criminal penalties for HIV transmission
* New law aims to expand affordable housing through $75 million investment, tax credits
* Education services extended for special needs students
* Pritzker signs dozens of bills into law