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Elected school board referendum shows 90 percent want the elected school board

Despite the tricks played by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his allies (especially Alderman Joe Moore) to block a major referendum on the elected school board in 2011, in 2015 the voting on the elected school board in 37 of the city's 50 wards was decisive: Chicago citizens have voted by 90 percent in favor of an elected school board. When the February meeting of the Chicago Board of Education begins at 10:30 a.m. on February 25, it will be interesting to see how the seven members of the city's school board, all appointed by Rahm Emanuel, treat the citizens and press. Under Board President David Vitale, the members of the school board have been smug, arrogant, and generally hostile to any citizen or member of the press who expresses criticism of the appointed school board system.

Members of the Chicago Board of Education at the January 28, 2015 Board meeting. Left to right, Henry Bienen, Mahalia Hines, Jesse Ruiz, David Vitale, Andrea Zopp, and Carlos Azcoitia. Not shown because of the difficult media angles at Board meetings is the corrupt Board member Deborah Quazzo (see photo below). Substance photo by George N. Schmidt. Chicago has never had an elected school board.

The current system, under which the mayor appoints a seven-member school board (originally called the "School Reform Board of Trustees" for two years), began in 1995, with the passage of the Amendatory Act by the Illinois General Assembly. The Amendatory Act also stripped the Chicago Teachers Union and the Cook County College Teachers Union of most bargaining rights and made strike illegal for the first two years of the law.

Despite the overwhelming vote in support of an elected school board on February 25, 2015, the reality of the appointed school board will continue until the Illinois General Assembly votes to change the law and create, for the first time in history, an elected school board in Chicago. The Illinois General Assembly is currently in session.

The February 25, 2015 vote took place in 37 of the city's 50 wards. Despite attempts by Rahm Emanuel's allies to block the referendum, only 13 wards did not vote in the referendum.

The ward by ward results are below here:

Despite the numerous media exposes showing how Chicago Board of Education member Deborah Quazzo was profiting from her position on the school board, Quazzo sat stolidly at the January 28, 2015 Board meeting (above). At the meeting's end, Quazzo continued her silence, while five of her fellow Board members spoke about how the media and public were picking on Quazzo -- not mentioning Quazzo's corruption. Only Board member Carlos Azcoitia kept his mouth shut as Henry Bienen, Mahalia Hines, Jesse Ruiz, David Vitale and Andrea Zopp praised Quazzo as being a nice person who really cared about the children, etc., etc. etc. All of the current members of the school board were appointed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Quazzo, a multi millionaire investor, was appointed in March 2014 to replace Board member billionaire Penny Pritzker, who had been appointed U.S. Secretary of Commerce by President Barack Obama. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt. Ward by Ward resultss reported by DNA Info Chicago early on February 25 follow:

Chicago REALLY Wants An Elected School Board, Ballot Results Show

By Jen Sabella and Ted Cox on February 24, 2015 10:33pm

More than 400 from the Chicago Teachers Union and other groups came out for a rally at Operation PUSH on Martin Luther King Jr. Day calling for an elected school board. More than 400 from the Chicago Teachers Union and other groups came out for a rally at Operation PUSH on Martin Luther King Jr. Day calling for an elected school board. View Full Caption DNAinfo/Sam Cholke

CHICAGO Chicago voters overwhelmingly voted in favor of an elected school board Tuesday even after what some described as "political shenanigans" kept the question off the ballot in parts of the city.

In nearly every ward that had the opportunity to vote on the topic, nearly 90 percent of voters said they were in favor of an elected school board. Vote breakdowns are below.

Currently, the school board is appointed by the mayor.

Im tired of going to school board meetings where people who dont have skin in the game are making decisions, said Jitu Brown of the Kenwood Oakland Community Organization, at a rally for an elected school board last month.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who is heading to a runoff with Jesus "Chuy" Garcia, has dismissed the notion of an elected school board, saying, "I don't believe what we need right now is more politics in schools."

Garcia, however, believes an "elected school board is a constitutional right."

Ald. John Arena (45th) had pushed for a citywide referendum on an elected school board, but in October the council's Rules Committee approved three other questions to fill up the ballot: a proposal by 49th Ward Ald. Joe Moore on mandatory paid sick leave, another on public campaign financing backed by the grassroots group Common Cause and another on whether city employees should be forced to seek counseling if convicted of domestic abuse, sponsored by Ald. Deborah Graham (29th).

Ald. Bob Fioretti (2nd) charged that the move was illegal, but those referenda held their spots.

A collection of grassroots groups filed 50,000 signatures to place an advisory referendum on the ballot for an elected school board in 37 of the city's 50 wards. The Chicago Teachers Union joined in the effort.

Here is how 37 Chicago wards voted on the elected school board question:

1st Ward

Yes: 86.55%

No: 13.45%

3rd Ward

Yes: 87.83%

No: 12.17%

4th Ward

Yes: 87.05 %

No: 12.95 %

5th Ward

Yes: 86.69 %

No: 13.31%

6th Ward

Yes: 92.71%

No: 7.29%

7th Ward

Yes: 92.68%

No: 7.32%

8th Ward

Yes: 91.97%

No: 8.03%

10th Ward

Yes: 91.20 %

No: 8.80%

12th Ward

Yes: 89.89 %

No: 10.11%

14th Ward

Yes: 89.09 %

No: 10.91%

15th Ward

Yes: 90.50%

No: 9.50%

16th Ward

Yes: 92.04%

No: 7.96%

17th Ward

Yes: 92.07%

No: 7.93%

19th Ward

Yes: 85.45%

No: 14.55%

20th Ward

Yes: 92.51%

No: 7.49%

21st Ward

Yes: 92.35%

No: 7.65%

22nd Ward

Yes: 91.75 %

No: 8.25%

24th Ward

Yes: 93.26%

No: 6.74%

25th Ward

Yes: 88.30 %

No: 11.70%

26th Ward

Yes: 91.16%

No: 8.84%

27th Ward

Yes: 88.62 %

No: 11.38%

28th Ward

Yes: 90.57%

No: 9.43%

29th Ward

Yes: 91.18%

No: 8.82%

30th Ward

Yes: 87.63%

No: 12.37%

31st Ward

Yes: 90.27%

No: 9.73%

32nd Ward

Yes: 82.96%

No: 17.04%

33rd Ward

Yes: 89.79%

No: 10.21%

34th Ward

Yes: 92.24 %

No: 7.76%

35th Ward

Yes: 90.67%

No: 9.33%

36th Ward

Yes: 88.74%

No: 11.26%

37th Ward

Yes: 92.44%

No: 7.56%

40th Ward

Yes: 86.94%

No : 13.06%

45th Ward

Yes: 85.18%

No: 14.82%

46th Ward

Yes: 83.21 %

No: 16.79%

47th Ward

Yes: 84.04%

No: 15.96%

49th Ward

Yes: 87.03%

No: 12.97%

50th Ward

Yes: 83.87%

No: 16.13%



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