May 172023

An Elected School Board – Establishing School Board Districts

COAL is a supporter of an elected school board, mainly in recognition of the overly political and ineffective performance of current and past school boards, fully comprised of appointees made by the mayors of Chicago.

We can all agree that speaking generally, there is significant room for improvement in the education of our children here in Chicago and a representative elected school board can be a key component of the change needed to chart an improved direction for Chicago Public Schools.

The legislation passed to establish an elected CPS board calls for the following:
The size of the board will be expanded from the current seven members to 21 members in 2025;

  • The City of Chicago shall be subdivided into 10 electoral districts for the 2024 elections and into 20 electoral districts for the 2026 elections – Each district must be compact, contiguous, and substantially equal in population and consistent with the Illinois Voting Rights Act.
  • In November 2024, 10 members will be elected from 10 school board districts, these members will serve four-year terms and will be up for re-election in 2028;
  • By Dec. 16, 2024, Mayor Brandon Johnson must also appoint 10 members from those same 10 districts to serve two-year terms.
  • By Dec. 16, 2024, the mayor will also appoint a school board president from anywhere in the city to serve for two years.
  • All 21 new school board members — half elected; half appointed — will be sworn into office in January 2025.
  • In November 2026, the 10 mayoral-appointed seats will switch to being elected to four-year terms. Those members will be up for re-election in 2030.
  • In November 2026, all Chicago voters will elect a school board president at-large. That person will also be up for re-election in 2030.
  • By January 2027, all 21 members will have been elected.
  • From that point on, school board elections will be staggered, with half the seats up for reelection every two years.
The legislation:
  • also puts in place a moratorium on school closures until 2025, and includes language to prevent individuals with conflicts of interest from serving on the board.
  • Additionally, the legislation creates the Chicago Board of Education Diversity Advisory Board, to provide non-citizen students with maximum opportunity for success during their elementary and secondary education experience.
The state legislature is currently working on the establishment of the boundaries of the Chicago electoral school board districts, from which we will elect members to the Chicago Public School Board. The question, as with any electoral map, is will the districts be drawn in a fair and equitable manner?

Please read on…


COAL Board of Directors

“The time to work seriously and collectively, to improve the state of our Community, is upon us…”

Let Us be intentional in all aspects of the Work that must be done.

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