CHICAGO — Chicago is closer to getting an elected school board. The Illinois House gave final approval to a bill despite strong opposition from Mayor Lori Lightfoot.
Wednesday’s vote means the school board would transition from being the only nonelected board in the state, to having triple the amount of members voted on by residents.
Here is a breakdown of how city would have to more forward:
- The board would go from 7 to 21 members by 2027.
- In 2024, 10 members would be elected — while the mayor appoints 11.
- In 2025, the hybrid board is sworn in.
- In 2026, voters will elect 10 members, including a board president, with that board starting their term in 2027.
This comes after years of officials with the teacher’s union, pushing to have an elected school board.
Crain’s Chicago is reporting that Lightfoot met with the House of Representatives’ “Black Caucus” earlier this week, to ask for a delay in the vote.
The mayor originally ran her campaign, agreeing that the board should be elected, but that has changed since being in office — citing the costs of school board elections — which she calls the lack of ensured diverse representations.
However, CTU is celebrating the vote saying outcome honor’s past CTU President Karen Lewis.
In a tweet Wednesday, CTU said “Chicago will have an elected representative school board. This is the will of the people. It is their legacy. It is Karen’s legacy.”
As of right now, there is a procedural hold placed on the bill. Gov. JB Pritzker is expected to sign it once it arrives to his desk.
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