The vice president of Chicago’s Board of Education announced he is stepping down from his position after more than three years in that position.
Sendhil Revuluri, who has served as the board’s vice president since Mayor Lori Lightfoot appointed him in 2019, made the surprise announcement during Wednesday’s board meeting.
“Everything I have in my life I owe to public education,” he said during the meeting. “Our city, our students, our educators all need and deserve a board that listens to the community, focuses on student outcomes, sets clear goals to drive our progress and then holds one another and our district accountable for that progress.”
According to his district bio, Revuluri was a founding teacher at the Bronx Academy of Letters in the South Bronx and worked in the CPS Office of High School Teaching and Learning and at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He also works as the managing director of strategic development for the entrepreneurial investment firm PEAK6 Capital Management.
Revuluri becomes the fourth person to leave the board this year, following former members Lucino Sotelo, Luisiana Meléndez and Dwayne Truss.
In announcing his decision, he noted that his time on the board has been “anything but typical” for the school district. He served under three CPS CEOs during his tenure — two full-time CEOs, one interim — and dealt with a worldwide pandemic that forced schools to close and students to learn from home.
"Since his appointment in 2019, and as Vice Chair, Sendhil has been a dedicated and thoughtful public servant, committed to governing the district toward equity and excellence," Mayor Lori Lightfoot said in a statement. "As we begin the process of finding his replacement, I want thank Sendhil for strengthening our board and our school district. I wish him and his family well in their future endeavors."
Board President Miguel del Valle said he was “disappointed” to learn that Revuluri is leaving, but thanked him for being a thoughtful member and listener during his time on the board. CPS CEO Pedro Martinez called Revuluri a “lifelong learner” who always put students first.
“Not only were you pushing us on the academics, but also you have an understanding of the complexities of our buildings and our program offerings and our finances and all the challenges that come with that,” Martinez said.
Chicago Public Schools has been the lone district in Illinois with a school board appointed by the mayor, but under legislation signed into law last year, the Board of Education will begin transitioning into an elected board beginning in 2024.
Revuluri referenced that shift, but said that whoever serves on the board — no matter how they are selected — must put students first and represent the voices of their communities.
“We know changes are coming,” he said. “We have to keep students at the center. We have to lead with them in mind and decide based on what’s best for them.”