SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Today, the Illinois House of Representatives passed HB 2908, a bill to create a 21-member elected school board for the City of Chicago. Led by Rep. Delia Ramirez, this legislation is the product of years of collaboration between legislators, local officials, advocates, parents, teachers, and students.

“I thank my colleagues for again putting forward a bill to create an elected school board in Chicago. An appointed school board is the antithesis of democratic representation, and it’s long past time to fix that in Chicago. It’s common sense that when parents and community leaders are at the top of the decision making tree, school districts will arrive at better solutions for our kids,” said Rep. Ramirez.

“I am very proud of Rep. Ramirez and the caucus for getting this important reform through,” said Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch. “I also applaud the advocates who have been pushing for this reform for years to help create a more equitable and representative Chicago Board of Education. Like every other city in Illinois, parents and community members deserve to have a seat at the table when it comes to their school district.”

As written, the House bill will divide Chicago into 20 electoral districts as determined by the General Assembly for seats on the Chicago Board of Education. The 21st seat is a city-wide election for the board’s president. Qualified persons would need to be a U.S. citizen, registered voter and be resident of the city and the electoral district for at least one year immediately preceding their election. Like many other laws enacted by the General Assembly, HB 2908 would sunset on June 30, 2029, to allow legislators and stakeholder to evaluate its effectiveness and refine provisions, if necessary.

For now, the bill goes to the Illinois Senate for further deliberation and negotiation between legislators and local stakeholders. Speaker Welch, Rep. Ramirez, and members of the House are eager to collaborate and find the best solution for Chicago Public Schools and the families and children it serves.

Speaker Emanuel Chris WelchRep. Emanuel Chris Welch

7th District

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