In a victory for democracy, students, families and educators will now have the voice they have long been denied for a quarter of a century by failed mayoral control of our schools.
Up until now, Chicago Public Schools has never had an elected school board in its entire history. All that will change as HB 2809 — passed in the Illinois General Assembly’s 2021 spring session — goes into effect. It’s been a long time coming.
Today’s vote represents the will of the people, and after more than a quarter of a century, moves our district forward in providing democracy and voice to students and their families.
Elected, Representative School Board legislation is moving through the General Assembly.
Our success in Springfield depends on you — call your legislators today.
If, by the mayor’s standards, current elected school board proposals are illegitimate to govern our school communities, consider how much decades of mayoral control has met, or exceeded, that illegitimacy.
Chicago’s Grassroots Education Movement alliance and CTU are mounting a campaign to pass HB 2267 — for an elected, representative school board — when lawmakers return to the Capitol after for a “lame duck” session, the closing days of the current general assembly before new legislators are seated. But the success of that campaign will depend on members contacting their state senators and insisting the bill get consideration first thing in the new year.
Chicago is an outlier in Illinois as a major district whose school board is not directly elected by the people whose welfare it is meant to serve. HB 2267, which has passed the House and currently awaits recognition and vote in the Senate, would fix that situation and finally bring an important measure of democracy to Chicago Public Schools.
Chicagoans must have the right to elect their school board. Teachers must have the right to bargain on staffing and class size.