CHICAGO – State Rep. Juliana Stratton, D-Chicago, is advocating for more democracy and community representation by sponsoring legislation to create an elected Chicago School Board.
“CPS is the only school district in the entire state that does not have an elected school board,” Stratton said. “This is not fair or democratic, especially when the mayor’s appointed school board rubber-stamped the closing of several neighborhoods schools in recent years.”
Currently, the Chicago Board of Education members are appointed by the mayor of Chicago. The Stratton-sponsored House Bill 1774 would change Chicago’s current appointed board into an elected one starting with the 2019 municipal election. Registered voters with residency in the Chicago electoral district for at least one year immediately preceding the election would be eligible to run for a board member position. House Bill 1774 would split Chicago into 20 districts that would each elect a representative for the board. Additionally, voters would select one at-large board member city-wide to serve as the board president.
“What the mayor’s appointed school board does not understand is that schools are not just places where our children learn,” Stratton continued. “Schools are also safe spaces for children to escape danger, in addition to centers of employment that provide stable, good-paying jobs at a time when these jobs are harder to find. An elected school board would understand these sentiments in a way the appointed board has not.”