Chicago Wins Elected School Board

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A major victory for the families in Chicago, HB2908 was passed in the State Senate today providing a elected representative school board.

“We thank Senator Robert Martwick (D-10) and Representative Delia Ramirez (D-4) for their hard work in finally bringing an elected school board to the City of Chicago,” said Dian Palmer, President of SEIU Local 73. “The passage of HB2908 is a significant achievement.”

The bill will provide for a 21 seat board comprised of 10 elected representatives, 10 appointed by the mayor, and one president also appointed by the mayor. The appointed seats will serve for two years and must be approved by the Chicago City Council. The elected seats will take place in November, 2024. All appointed seats will be up for election in 2026, providing for staggered elections. All elected positions will serve four-year terms.

“Ensuring the Chicago City Council must approve mayoral appointments puts in place a much-needed check and balance until the school board is fully elected in 2026.”

The bill also includes a moratorium on school closings until the elected school board is in place.

“The moratorium on school closings will prevent the devastating closings we have seen in the past,” said Palmer.

The passage of this bill is the result of six years of work by the members of the Grassroots Education Movement Alliance, of which Local 73 is a part.

“The parents and students of Chicago have waited too long to have the same rights as every other community in Illinois. The ability to elect their school board has been due for decades. And SEIU Local 73 will continue to work to ensure the students we serve receive the best education possible,” said Palmer.

The 2019 joint CPS strike with Local 73 and Chicago Teachers Union broke the logjam on this legislation and got it moving forward in the Illinois legislature.

HB2908 will be voted on in the Illinois House of Representatives next week.