Cullerton blocks elected school board bill...

Illinois Senate President John Cullerton has effectively blocked legislation that was supposed to provide Chicago with an elected school board within three years. According to a November 10 press release from Raise Your Hand:


For immediate release



Wendy Katten 773-704-0336

Parents demand public meeting with Senate President Cullerton after he fails to send elected school board bill to Governor’s desk

“The current legislative session ended in Springfield this week, and despite the elected school board bill finally passing after years of grassroots advocacy around Chicago, Senator John Culleton and Speaker Madigan failed to send this bill to the Governor’s desk during this legislative session. Senator Cullerton added a poison pill to the bill around the drawing of maps creating a logjam between the Senate and House.

“As a constituent of Senator Cullerton’s I implore him to once for all side with us, the voters rather than his political allies and special interests” said Jeff Jenkins a Coonley LSC Member & CPS Parent

“Chicago is the only district in Illinois with an appointed school board where the mayor gets to hand-pick the board. There were two city-wide referenda that passed with overwhelming support, one in 2012 with 87% approval, and grassroots groups organized another in 2015 due to inaction by the state legislature, and that passed with 89% approval in 37 wards.

“Chicago Public Schools has faced a number of issues in recent years from drastic budget cuts to creating a recent special education manual that has been harmful to students with disabilities. These examples further justify the need to have an elected school board as democratically elected officials can be held accountable to their actions. Chicago parents and communities have been pushing for an elected school board in order to have transparency and accountability in decisions that impact thousands of children.

“We’ve canvassed Chicago, we’ve done referendums showing 90% support, we’ve even managed to get the bill passed,” said Jitu Brown of the Kenwood-Oakland Community Organization, “What will it take to get John Cullerton to stop sabotaging democracy?”

Co-sponsored by Raise Your Hand Action, Parents4Teachers, KOCO, Brighton Park Neighborhood Council, Northside Action for Justice