As state lawmakers prepare to return to Springfield for a pivotal vote on whether Chicago Public Schools should be run by an elected school board, Mayor Lori Lightfoot asked members of the Illinois House to delay a vote approved by the Illinois Senate.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot expressed concern the bill could have a “negative impact” on her ability to find the next CEO of Chicago Public Schools and said students and parents “don’t feel like they’ve been heard” by legislators about the bill.
Chicago Public Schools is currently the lone district in Illinois with a school board appointed by the mayor. But under legislation approved Tuesday evening by the Illinois Senate, the Chicago Board of Education would transition into a fully elected body by 2027.
With just one day remaining before they’re scheduled to adjourn until fall, Illinois legislators have a heaping set of issues left to tackle: a state budget, ethics reform, a follow-up to the major criminal justice overhaul signed into law in February, and legislation to fix issues with Illinois’ gun licensing system.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot said she was disappointed that Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed a law that gives a subset of Chicago firefighters the same retirement package as their peers, saying it will “result in a deeper financial burden to the taxpayers of Chicago.” Days earlier, he signed another law Lightfoot had pressured him to reject.
Some retired firefighters could see their pensions grow after Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed a measure to boost the annual cost-of-living increase added to their checks. Mayor Lori Lightfoot said the measure would create an “unfunded mandate” that would force Chicago officials to raise taxes or cut services.
The Northwest Side community of Jefferson Park is known as the gateway to Chicago, in part because it’s a transit hub. The area’s thought of by some as typical “bungalow belt” Chicago. It’s predominantly middle class, but recently there’s been an uptick in homelessness.
The Illinois legislature is not coming back this year. What does that mean for the Black Lives Matter movement and the state budget?
When legislators returned to Springfield last week after more than two months away because of the coronavirus pandemic, Sen. Robert Martwick was not among them – at least at first.
State Sen. Rob Martwick says the bill would grant students up to five excused absences from class to let them “take care of their mental health, just like they would be with a broken bone or the flu.”
To the delight of some advocacy groups and the Chicago Teachers Union, state representatives voted Thursday to move Chicago to an elected school board structure.
Gov. Bruce Rauner reiterated his opposition Friday to a bill that would give Chicago an elected Board of Education, calling the measure “political spin” – a statement one of the legislation’s chief sponsors described as “ridiculous.”
House legislation calling for an elected Chicago Board of Education has once again passed with strong bipartisan support, but the bill may still have a difficult road ahead.
Calls for an elected Board of Education in Chicago are nothing new, but a pair of current and former politicians are continuing their efforts to end mayoral control over the city's seven-member board.