Several groups voice opposition to proposed timeline for fully elected school board in Chicago

Chicago News

CHICAGO — Several groups voiced opposition to the proposed timeline to establish a fully elected school board in Chicago.

This week, state legislators worked on a compromise deal to phase in elected school board members. But a host of Chicago community organizations are not happy with the proposal passed by the Illinois Senate — and they’re not happy with Chicago’s mayor, either.

Activist Jitu Brown and others accused Mayor Lori Lightfoot of reversing her campaign stance. Candidate Lightfoot, according to activists gathered at City Hall Thursday, initially supported an elective school board for Chicago.

“This bill is not a compromise,” Brown said. “It is a concession. We demand the right to elect our school board. We are the community groups that are on the ground.”

But in a recent proposal, Lightfoot offered her own hybrid, school board plan with both elected school board members and mayoral appointees.

Lightfoot reacted Wednesday to the Illinois Senate bill, which calls for a six-year transition to an elected school board.

The mayor says the final bill, which the governor has to sign into law, is likely to be different than what we have now. She says bottom line – Chicago needs to do what’s best for students.

“I am angry, frustrated and disappointed,” says Adilene Barragan of Brighton Park Neighborhood Council, “to hear that we will have to wait six years before we see an elected school board.”

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