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Senate Dems release new Chicago elected school board map proposal

Wednesday, Nov 1, 2023 - Posted by Isabel Miller

* Click here for the interactive map…

* Senate Democrats press release…

The Illinois Senate Democratic caucus released a new Chicago Elected School Board District map proposal, incorporating numerous suggestions made by the public and advocacy groups, including keeping more communities of interest whole.
The draft map is available for review at, and reflects changes put forth by parents, education advocates and community groups gathered through online map making portals and during multiple public hearings. The public is encouraged to review the latest proposal and provide additional feedback via the website or through email at
The map consists of 20 proposed districts, including seven majority Black districts, six majority Latino districts, five majority White districts and two coalition districts.
“This new map better reflects the diversity of Chicago’s unique neighborhoods, and we thank the many parents, educators and community members whose guidance helped shape these district boundaries,” said Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford, Chair of the Special Committee on the Chicago Elected Representative School Board. “Our communities deserve a school board that reflects their shared values, and a learning experience that will help our children thrive.”
School board districts must be consistent with the Illinois Voting Rights Act, which 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 is scheduled to become fully-elected over the course of a two-year hybrid period. Under existing law, ten members of the Chicago Board of Education will be elected by voters during the November 2024 election, 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.
While questions have been raised about a number of these provisions, lawmakers are still studying these procedural election issues and the best ways to ensure the 2024 election provides equitable representation for all of Chicago’s communities.  Additional public feedback and suggestions on these matters can be submitted via email at
“We are dedicated to putting in place a community-led education system that better serves our families and students” said Sen. Robert Martwick, Vice-Chair of the Special Committee on the Chicago Elected Representative School Board and sponsor of the legislation creating an elected school board in Chicago. “That is achieved when we have local representation, promoting the best interests of the people they were elected to serve.”
“When our schools succeed, our city succeeds,” said Sen. Omar Aquino, Vice-Chair of the Special Committee on the Chicago Elected Representative School Board. “Working together, we are ushering in a brighter future for our children and our communities.”

* Demographic breakdown


The new map has seven majority Black districts, six where Latinos make up 50% or more of the population, and five where the population is 50% or more white. Two districts — one representing Rogers Park on the North Side and the other representing Portage Park and Old Irving Park on the North West side — are plurality white, with Latinos making up the second-largest population. […]

Sen. Robert Martwick, a Democrat representing the North West side of Chicago and west suburbs, said that figuring out how to create 10 districts for the 2024 elections and 20 districts for the 2026 elections has been difficult for legislators. […]

State Rep. Ann Williams, who represents parts of the city’s North Side and chairs a special task force of House Democrats working on drawing school board districts, said the transition from 10 districts to 20 is “still under discussion,” but the goal is to vote on a map during next week’s veto session.

“At some point we have to get a map so that people can start looking at the districts and prepare to run for office,” Williams said.


  1. - Lucky Pierre - Wednesday, Nov 1, 23 @ 9:42 am:

    African Americans are 29% of the population of Chicago

    White alone is 33%

    Hispanic 28.7%

  2. - Amalia - Wednesday, Nov 1, 23 @ 9:45 am:

    how does the map compare to the percentages of population of the City for each group listed? interesting.

  3. - low level - Wednesday, Nov 1, 23 @ 9:56 am:

    Where are the letters for the districts on the map? I cant see them.

  4. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Nov 1, 23 @ 9:59 am:

    === I cant see them. ===

    Click the link Isabel provided.

  5. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Nov 1, 23 @ 10:02 am:

    Maybe the new elected board will consider aligning school attendance boundaries to match these districts? That might add some extra accountability to this new board.

  6. - Titan - Wednesday, Nov 1, 23 @ 10:26 am:

    20 districts for a 50 ward city. It would have been much tidier to go with 25 districts and make each district 2 wards.

  7. - Leap Day William - Wednesday, Nov 1, 23 @ 10:27 am:

    African Americans are 29% of the population of Chicago

    White alone is 33%

    Hispanic 28.7%

    Sure, but what are the demographics of the students who are served by Chicago Public Schools? That’s the population which matters here, so let’s go to the tape on that that before we start implicitly complaining about a majority-minority board. Here’s those numbers as of September 2023:

    * White - 35,853 - 11.1%
    * Black/African American - 113,197 - 35.0%
    * Asian/Pacific Islander (retired) - 1 0.0%
    * Native American/Alaskan - 827 - 0.3%
    * Latinx - 151,604 - 46.9%
    * Multiracial - 5,241 - 1.6%
    * Asian - 14,703 - 4.5%
    * Hawaiian/Pacific Islander - 407 - 0.1%
    * Not Available - 1,421 - 0.4%

    If anything, there should be more Latino/Latina/Latinx representation on the board and less white. Unless you think that communities which have chosen to opt out of the CPS to raise their kids should still have an outsized say in how that district operates?

  8. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Nov 1, 23 @ 10:32 am:

    ===That’s the population which matters ===


    These are elections. Therefore, the only population that matters is the number of people in the districts, regardless of public school status. I mean, have you never noticed how other school boards are elected in this state?

    Your argument is not only unlawful, it’s nonsensical. Elections just don’t work that way.

  9. - Joe Bidenopolous - Wednesday, Nov 1, 23 @ 10:38 am:

    =Unless you think that communities which have chosen to opt out of the CPS to raise their kids should still have an outsized say in how that district operates?=

    I’m a CPS parent and while I agree that there should be more Latino districts and fewer white districts. That said, everyone who owns or rents in the city has skin in the game because their taxes support CPS and I seem to recall ‘taxation without representation being somewhat of a big deal when the US was founded (DC notwithstanding)

  10. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Nov 1, 23 @ 10:40 am:

    ===If anything, there should be more Latino/Latina/Latinx representation on the board and less white. Unless you think that communities which have chosen to opt out of the CPS to raise their kids should still have an outsized say in how that district operates?===


    Now you’ve alienated every homeowner in Chicago that’s paying property taxes for schools (and every renter paying rent to landlords, or in other words “everyone”) because they “don’t use schools. What kind of election are you looking at where your mindset is *all* the people pay, but only *those* using a service vote.

    As I recall you’re a researcher? Research how voters would feel about “paying for things without a vote to them”.

    What is in the water today?

  11. - Leap Day William - Wednesday, Nov 1, 23 @ 10:41 am:

    == Your argument is not only unlawful, it’s nonsensical. Elections just don’t work that way. ==

    Fair enough. I don’t live in an area who draws boundaries for individual district seats. This is just what makes sense to me - ensuring that populations are appropriately represented - so I’ll concede that point.

  12. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Nov 1, 23 @ 10:42 am:

    While - Joe Bidenopolous - sees little worth in my thoughts, often, on this we seem to concur.

    That’s probably due to the horrendous take making sense to, as Rich started this, “how elections work”

  13. - Leap Day William - Wednesday, Nov 1, 23 @ 10:45 am:

    == As I recall you’re a researcher? Research how voters would feel about “paying for things without a vote to them”. ==

    I mean, they do have a vote for them; nothing mandates or requires that a majority African-American district produce an African-American candidate, right? It just makes it more likely to produce a minority candidate? Not sarcasm, genuinely asking.

    This is an area out of my wheelhouse and going strictly off gut feelings, not logic.

  14. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Nov 1, 23 @ 11:00 am:

    ===Fair enough. … - so I’ll concede that point.===

    No. There’s nothing to concede.

    This is the problem with “wants” and “truths”

    It’s like the candidates that may run in these seats.

    If you have an “over 60 year old”, no kids, grandkids, no relatives in any CPS school, how exactly can a person look at them as disqualified? It’s why forever and a day I appreciated “over 60” school board members with no student in the system. They bring a different perspective while I also hope they are championing good education for students.

    There’s nothing to concede or thought to it’s fairness “in opinion”

    I’m harping on this in large part because this so new, it’s sizing up to Charter v. CTU, and these districts are the playing field to understand how messaging to ALL is going to win the day. It’s not a slam dunk CTU can win all these races, but as many of these districts might not have CPS families, how those non-CPS families will be pivotal… in each district.

  15. - levivotedforjudy - Wednesday, Nov 1, 23 @ 11:08 am:

    This is driving that wedge between the Black and Hispanic Caucuses in Springfield and City Hall even more. It is going to get worse unfortunately. I wasn’t a fan of how the wards were drawn either. The trends of population demographics are screaming that Hispanics are underrepresented.

  16. - LastModDemStanding - Wednesday, Nov 1, 23 @ 11:08 am:

    ==Your argument is not only unlawful, it’s nonsensical. Elections just don’t work that way.==

    Was going to say exactly this. Public school status doesn’t matter for School Board elections and districts made on that basis would immediately be challenged in Court (and lose).

    This is a good map, all things considered. Now on to determine which 10 districts are elected vs. appointed in 2024…

  17. - JS Mill - Wednesday, Nov 1, 23 @ 11:33 am:

    This is a math problem and the Lightford led team fails again. She talks the diversity game but never really intends to actually reflect it.

    Chicago’s population is rapidly becoming more brown and less black. This map does not reflect that.

    Also, @Leap Day William- no map anywhere is based on the students served and excludes other residents because of what you think might be happening. That is the kind of stuff happening in Florida and Alabama.

  18. - Wow - Wednesday, Nov 1, 23 @ 11:56 am:

    Bravo OW and Rich on correctly identifying such an unlawful and nonsensical argument.

  19. - cermak_rd - Wednesday, Nov 1, 23 @ 12:15 pm:

    I understand the impulse behind gerrymandering based on school attendees, but taxes are paid by everyone so that’s a nonstarter.

    On the other hand, it is my fervent wish that some of the people who win these elections either are or become over time serious policy wonks and noone will care about their characteristics.

  20. - TNR - Wednesday, Nov 1, 23 @ 12:25 pm:

    == aligning school attendance boundaries to match these districts? ==

    I like that idea a lot. Would definitely create more accountability. Though, so few CPS students attend their neighborhood schools (I think just half of K-8 students and only about a quarter of high school students do,) it might not have as big as an impact as it should.

  21. - low level - Wednesday, Nov 1, 23 @ 1:45 pm:

    ==Unless you think that communities which have chosen to opt out of the CPS to raise their kids==

    They still pay property taxes to support CPS. If you could opt out of that then you may have had a point

  22. - Just Me 2 - Wednesday, Nov 1, 23 @ 2:27 pm:

    Does it strike anyone else as odd that the mapmakers just can’t help themselves but to have long and thin districts? I know why they do it to gerrymander the legislative map, but do they have to do the same for all maps? Just once I’d like to see compact and contiguous.

  23. - Amalia - Wednesday, Nov 1, 23 @ 2:42 pm:

    you pay taxes but we don’t want you to have as much of a say as other people who use the service for which we need your tax dollars. your business got trashed but don’t worry it will be paid back by insurance. there is a strange mindset when it comes to money and the far left. I’m a Democrat but this kind of thinking…and there’s more…. is not helping.

  24. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Nov 1, 23 @ 2:48 pm:

    ===the far left===

    I’m pretty sure the city council’s entire Latino Caucus signed off on that demand. So, it’s not just the far left.

    But, yeah, I get your point.

  25. - Leap Day William - Wednesday, Nov 1, 23 @ 2:55 pm:

    I have been properly put in my place here, thanks everyone!

  26. - NIU Grad - Wednesday, Nov 1, 23 @ 3:47 pm:

    Off-topic, but it’s a sad to see how the south- and west-side districts here need to stretch into downtown in order to build up their population numbers. They’ve just lost so many people over the years.

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