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Illinois Senate Weighs Whether Chicago Voters Should Elect Public Schools Board Members

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The Illinois Senate will consider a measure that would let Chicagoans elect their school board rather than have members appointed by the mayor.

House Bill 1774 would set the first school board elections in 2023. That means whoever’s elected mayor in 2019 still would be able to make appointments through that term.

 

Current Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel opposes the plan. Attorney Derek Blaida, who represents the Chicago Board of Education, testified that the State Senate should be dealing with Chicago Public School’s finances and not whether school board members are elected or appointed.

 

Proponents note that Chicago is the only city in the state that does not elect its school board.

The bill passed the House last week.