Illinois House passes elected Chicago school board bill

Despite pleas from Mayor Lori Lightfoot, the Illinois House passed the elected Chicago school board bill.

Supporters of the bill say it’s about accountability and making sure board members act in the best interest of Chicago Public Schools students and their families.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who campaigned on a promise she would support an elected school board, says this version is too big and "unwieldy."

The mayor has raised concerns from taxpayer-funded CPS pensions down the road, to the cost of races for board seats that, with no campaign financing limits, could balloon.


Chicagoans that talked to FOX 32 had mixed feelings about the bill.

"It’s pluses and minuses. You don’t want it to get too political so the people that have the money that can run campaigns and so forth have an impact. People should have impact on how schools run because we pay for them," said Jerry Wynn. 

"It’s good to get more people," said Eric Lopez, adding he thinks 21 board members "is a little too much."

The proposal, who’s chief sponsor is Rep. Delia Ramirez (D-Chicago,) abolishes the seven member board electing 10 new members Nov. 5, 2024. The mayor would then appoint 11 additional members. The appointees would serve for two years and all the board members would face the voters in 2026.

The union issued a statement reading in part:

"This is the culmination of a generation of work by parents, rank-and-file educators and activists, who recognized the shortcomings of mayoral control of our schools... and demanded better for our children. This is their legacy."

The governor's office says there was a motion to reconsider on this bill. It has not been sent to his office yet.