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Question of the day

Monday, Mar 20, 2023 - Posted by Rich Miller

* I may have missed it, but I don’t think I’ve yet seen a thing from the usual good government groups about this remap process…

The Illinois Senate Democratic Caucus today launched an online map making portal to encourage public participation in the creation of new Chicago elected school board districts. The portal will allow the public to draw and submit proposed district boundaries as legislators seek to gather input on mapmaking from across the city’s diverse communities.

The portal can be accessed at All maps submitted through the portal will be reviewed as part of the public record. In addition, a newly-convened Special Committee on the Chicago Elected Representative School Board will conduct citywide hearings to gather information and ideas from a wide variety of stakeholders including parents, education advocates and community groups.

“Transitioning the Chicago Board of Education from an appointed to an elected body is about empowering families with the ability to decide what is best for their children, especially Black, Latinx and minority students who are too often left behind,” said Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford, who is serving as Chair of the committee. “It’s vital that the leadership of our state’s largest school district reflect the diversity of our neighborhoods, and it’s important residents know they can have a say in this process right now.”

The General Assembly faces a July 1 deadline to draw Chicago school board districts, which must be consistent with the Illinois Voting Rights Act. That law ensures districts are crafted in a way that preserves clusters of minority voters if they are of size or cohesion to exert collective electoral power.

Currently appointed by the mayor, the Chicago Board of Education will transition to become fully-elected over the course of a two-year hybrid period.

During the November 2024 election, ten members of the Chicago Board of Education will be elected by voters, and ten members and the board president will be appointed by the mayor. Elected members will serve four-year terms, while appointed members, including the appointed board president, will serve two-year terms. The board will become fully-elected after the November 2026 general election, when the number of electoral districts will expand from 10 districts to 20 districts.

* The Question: Should the district maps for the new elected Chicago school board be drawn independently, without regard to politics? Explain.


  1. - Logical Fox - Monday, Mar 20, 23 @ 2:49 pm:

    No, the districts should be drawn the first time exclusively based on political data in order to give a specific partisan advantage.

    And then in future years for redistricting, they should be drawn simply to reward or punish incumbents.

    If they’re drawn any other way, they’re a threat to democracy.

  2. - Lucky Pierre - Monday, Mar 20, 23 @ 3:02 pm:

    Of course not we are in Illinois where maps must be 100% political

  3. - Amalia - Monday, Mar 20, 23 @ 3:03 pm:

    Independently. And with school boundaries in mind.

  4. - Perrid - Monday, Mar 20, 23 @ 3:06 pm:

    No map should ever be drawn to try and pick a winner. Frankly I’m barely persuaded it shouldn’t be fairly random. There are (very, very weak) arguments saying “similar” groups should be together as a community, and that’s fine, whatever, but again no map should ever be drawn to control the elected body.

  5. - Nuke The Whales - Monday, Mar 20, 23 @ 3:15 pm:

    Wasn’t the whole idea that they would use the school boundaries and that is how they decided on the number twenty? I understand they may need to adjust for population/Voting Rights Act, but the districts should be drawn without consideration of partisan advantage and/or CTU v Charter advantage.

  6. - Big Dipper - Monday, Mar 20, 23 @ 3:17 pm:

    ==Of course not we are in Illinois where maps must be 100% political==

    Because Republicans don’t do the same all over the country.

  7. - 47th Ward - Monday, Mar 20, 23 @ 3:25 pm:

    Yes, please draw independent maps of near equal populations. All Chicago residents pay taxes to support the schools and all should be fairly represented.

    And since I’m not wild about this idea at all, because I fear it will make it easier for CTU to dominate the elected school board, I’d ask the next Mayor to end the CPS residency requirement as a cynical and small way to undercut the influence of CTU. It might also help attract and retain better teachers.

    Somehow I don’t think Mayor Johnson would go along with my idea.

  8. - Name Withheld - Monday, Mar 20, 23 @ 3:40 pm:

    This seems like a trick question. Why should any electoral-type map be drawn to favor incumbents? Of course they should be drawn as independently as possible to ensure that those elected most closely represent the populace.

    I’m also going to presume that Lucky Pierre and Logical Fox were posting facetiously. If they were not, I’d would prefer to see their reasoning.

  9. - Demoralized - Monday, Mar 20, 23 @ 3:41 pm:

    ==Of course not we are in Illinois where maps must be 100% political==

    For crying out loud don’t you ever get tired of being a victim? Or is whining just your only way of communicating?

  10. - Lucky Pierre - Monday, Mar 20, 23 @ 3:58 pm:

    Those are the facts do you actually dispute them?

    JB knows it is an issue which is why he promised to veto maps drawn by politicians before he was elected.

    We all know how that worked out, he disenfranchised the 45% of the state that votes Republican.

  11. - Steve - Monday, Mar 20, 23 @ 4:24 pm:

    -All Chicago residents pay taxes to support the schools and all should be fairly represented.-

    It’s time for the state legislature to pass a law allowing teachers to live outside of the district. This would bring better balance to who’s going to vote. Plus, teachers should be able to live where they want. New Trier teachers don’t have to live within the district.

  12. - Lucky Pierre - Monday, Mar 20, 23 @ 4:34 pm:

    That should do wonders for the tax base in Chicago that actually pays for the schools and everything else to have all the city workers be allowed to live in the suburbs

  13. - OneMan - Monday, Mar 20, 23 @ 4:53 pm:

    I don’t see those races being ‘traditionally partisan,’ as it were. It would seem obvious and intuitive that the CTU would push candidates who will give the union what it wants. I suspect they will be the single biggest player in the whole thing, so I also suspect they will want to have the biggest influence in the map.

    There will be other entities pushing for folks, but when it comes down to it, the CTU logically would be the most motivated to get ‘their folks’ on the school board. The question becomes how much they are willing to spend to try and make that happen and if they feel the map is an important part of that process?

  14. - Gravitas - Monday, Mar 20, 23 @ 5:04 pm:

    Sheesh! Too little, too late.

    The Chicago Wards and the Congressional and state legislative and judicial districts were gerrymandered recently. That’s when we could have used citizen input and transparency. Some Chicago wards are shaped like spaghetti noodles.

    Whatever happened to “compact and contiguous” districts?

  15. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Mar 20, 23 @ 5:28 pm:

    === JB knows it is an issue which is why he promised to veto maps drawn by politicians before he was elected.

    We all know how that worked out, he disenfranchised the 45% of the state that votes Republican.===

    Narrator: Pritzker won going away, double digits, after signing the maps.

    To the post,

    === Should the district maps for the new elected Chicago school board be drawn independently, without regard to politics?===


    They should be drawn to the educational boundaries and natural borders within the educational system (where schools exist).

    Full stop.

    The rest will sort itself out.

  16. - Lucky Pierre - Monday, Mar 20, 23 @ 5:36 pm:

    Illinois disenfranchised the Republican electorate more than any other state

    We went from 18 seats with 9 deep Blue, 2 light Blue, two neutral districts and 5 Red leaning districts

    To 17 seats with 8 deep Blue, 5 light Blue one neutral district and 3 Red districts

    Somehow this is not a threat to democracy only Republicans are

  17. - Lucky Pierre - Monday, Mar 20, 23 @ 5:37 pm:

    Full stop

    So lying is ok then, ends justify the means

  18. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Mar 20, 23 @ 5:43 pm:

    === Full stop

    So lying is ok then, ends justify the means===

    The voters decided, in that information and all the information available.

    You do understand that, I mean, Rauner lied about the turnaround agenda, well, that cost him.

    Democracy is like that.

    Your babe in the woods routine here, save it for the voters.

  19. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Mar 20, 23 @ 5:46 pm:

    === Somehow this is not a threat to democracy only Republicans are===

    Democrats are 8-0 statewide.

    You have to explain how a party that can’t win statewide is now a victim of its own failures?

    You should be happy.

    You have Bost, Mary Miller, and LaHood…

    With that brain trust you should get a couple more seats easy.

  20. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Mar 20, 23 @ 5:49 pm:

    ===threat to democracy only Republicans are===

    How many Dems supported the insurrection Republicans still can’t say happened?

    This post is about maps.

    I’m personally for fair maps, but only on a national level where each and every state has that same parameter…. like Mississippi, Alabama…

  21. - Just Me 2 - Monday, Mar 20, 23 @ 5:51 pm:

    Independently, and without school boundaries in mind. The Board is supposed to look at the system at an enterprise level, not by individual schools.

  22. - Phineas - Monday, Mar 20, 23 @ 6:51 pm:

    One could do worse than this…

    Q: Draw a map with twenty geographically compact districts for chicago public school board members that will be balanced between racial groups per the voting rights act

    A: As an AI language model, I do not have the capability to draw a map. However, I can provide some guidance on how to create a map with twenty geographically compact districts for Chicago Public School board members that will be balanced between racial groups per the Voting Rights Act.

    Identify neighborhoods or areas with high concentrations of each racial group. These may include neighborhoods that are predominantly Black, Latino, White, Asian, or other racial or ethnic groups.
    Consider the size and population of each neighborhood to ensure that each district is relatively equal in terms of population size.
    Use major streets, rivers, and other natural boundaries to define the district boundaries where possible. This can help ensure that each district is geographically compact.
    Ensure that each district has a roughly equal proportion of voters from each racial group. This can be achieved through careful analysis of demographic data and the use of specialized mapping software.
    Ensure that the map complies with the requirements of the Voting Rights Act, which prohibits the drawing of district lines that dilute the voting power of minority communities.
    Consider input from community members, advocacy groups, and other stakeholders to ensure that the map accurately reflects the needs and concerns of the communities it serves.
    Creating a map with twenty geographically compact districts that is balanced between racial groups per the Voting Rights Act can be a complex and time-consuming process. It is important to ensure that the map is fair, equitable, and representative of the diverse communities it serves.

  23. - Anon - Monday, Mar 20, 23 @ 8:31 pm:

    what a disaster–handing over the Chicago Public School system to the CTU. They will do for Chicago what AFSCME has done for state government.

  24. - Odysseus - Tuesday, Mar 21, 23 @ 4:33 am:

    Yes, the maps should be drawn independently. They should be as concise and compact as possible and should not favor any specific candidate or political group.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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