School board resigns, Mayor Lightfoot to appoint new members next month

Mayor Lori Lightfoot has cleared out the entire Chicago School Board.

On Wednesday, she asked everyone to resign and they did.

The resignations took place as the mayor prepares to install her own appointees, though she still favors an elected school board. It is something she and the Teachers Union have been at odds about.

Moving forward, they will have to come together to reach a deal as the Teachers Union seeks a new contract.

Speaking to a packed crowd of Chicago Teachers Union members and supporters, American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten on Wednesday put heat on the city's new mayor amid contract talks between the union and the city's school board.

“I hope my presence here sends a message. I hope it sends a message that our union is absolutely serious,” Weingarten said.

The talks are expected to hit a more consequential tone with Mayor Lightfoot stepping into office, beginning a term, and former Mayor Rahm Emanuel ending one. Both sides hoping to strike a deal before the June deadline.

“We need to get these things resolved as we go back to school next year. We are not prepared to wait an entire year with conditions the way they are,” said CTU President Jesse Sharkey.

The sticking points for CTU are the following: pay and benefits for teachers, shrinking staff sizes, class sizes, social issues like protections for immigrant students, and member housing.

While touring city agencies at City Hall, the mayor addressed the resignations of the seven member Chicago Board of Education, stepping down at her request in favor of her own appointees to be announced soon.

“My first priority is placing emphasis on people who have children in the system or have themselves been part the CPS system: administrators, teachers or principals,” Lightfoot said.

Board of Ed resignations take effect June 21. Lightfoot says she plans to have her own appointees in place by June 26 – in time for the next board meeting.