CHICAGO – As the debate over whether Chicago Public Schools should have an elected school board continues, a group of supporters says the district’s immigrant community needs to be heard.
Chicago Public Schools parents, CPS Board President Miguel del Valle and city officials gathered Sunday to declare its time for all Chicagoans to have a say when it comes to their school board.
“Today, we join and demand the General Assembly and Governor Pritzker to support our immigrant community,” said CPS parent Nury Ortega.
CPS is the only school district in the state that does not have an elected school board. Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has appointed all members. There are two bills before the General Assembly, one which would create a hybrid board where the mayor would appoint five members and voters elect two. The second bill would establish a board with 21 elected members.
Sunday’s group demand any measure must allow undocumented immigrants to vote and run for election.
“If it isn’t fixed, we expect the governor of the state of Illinois, JB Pritzker, to veto the bill,” said former congressman Luis Gutierrez.
With just days left in the legislative session, it remains uncertain whether an elected school board will pass. However, the group believes there’s still time.
“We cannot have an adjournment of the legislature,” says CPS Board President Miguel del Valle, “having passed an elected school board bill but not other bills that would ensure the participation of the parents that we’re talking about today.”