Elected school board bill begins another journey through the Illinois House of Representatives...

Illinois State Rep. Rob Martwick (D Chicago) speaks with constituents. Martwick is once again sponsoring legislation to create an elected school board for Chicago. Photo from Martwick office.The bill that would give Chicago its first truly elected school board in history will begin its latest journey through the Illinois legislative process on March 15, when the bill, proposed by State Rep. Rob Martwick, goes through hearings in the Illinois House committee dealing with education. The bill is HB 1774. Voters can register to testify "virtually" in support of the bill.

Although the Chicago Teachers union has been almost silent on the bill, Parents4Teachers sent out an alert on March 14 asking supporters to sign up to testify in favor of the legislation. Last year, the bill was killed in the Illinois Senate by Senate President John Cullerton, who has yet to be challenged by the CTU and other supporters of an elected school board for Chicago as to why he has joined Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel in trying to kill the legislation.

The failure of the CTU to mobilize in support of the legislation is visible. The CTU website mentions many things and has a listing of more than a dozen press releases since the beginning of 2017, but nothing is said about the resumption of the fight for an elected school board for Chicago.

Other groups, however, are mobilizing for the fight, and legislators who support greater democracy for Chicago are already on board.

Parents 4 Teachers sent out the following on March 14, 2017:

Elected School Board Update

The Elected Representative School Board bill will face its first test in the new General Assembly tomorrow. The bill we be considered by the House Elementary Education Committee at a 10 a.m. hearing. We understand most parents can't trek to Springfield, but you can make your voice heard by filling out an online witness slip in support of the bill, HB 1774.

Sign a Virtual Witness Slip--Remember to select PROPONENT. You also have the option to file written testimony if you want to make some specific points to the committee. The sponsor, Rep. Rob Martwick, has been working hard to line up co-sponsors. But we need to have his back. Please fill out the witness slip and check to see if your rep is on the committee. If he/she is, give a call today. Committee members are listed here.


March 19, 2017 at 1:37 PM

By: Rachel Fowler


How many of your readers are able to read Russian? I certainly can't.

March 20, 2017 at 5:52 AM

By: George Schmidt

Russian and other 'bots' attacking Substance...

Readers keep asking, so we keep trying to answer. For the past several months, has been attacked every day and night ("24/7" as it were) by "bots" from around the world. These are robotic infections -- consider them bacteria, since they are not a virus unless you open one of their URLs. They are sent into Cyberspace by people from around the world, and in several languages (we have been hacked by them in English, Russian, German, Greek, and Mandarin as far as I can tell, and maybe others I've missed). As editor of Substance, one of my daily duties has been to go through the "comments" posted to our site a couple of times a day and DELETE all of these, hopefully before any of our readers have opened any of the URLs they are offered for low-priced "Viagra," or new gym shoes, or Russian (Greek, Chinese, etc?) brides. We have sought ways to block them and we have failed. We have periodically warned out readers not to open the URLs, but hopefully the very nature of the bots (the "NAME" is always some gibberish, never a first and last name as we require here) precludes their infecting anyone who visits Substance. So for now, every day we cut back the bots and hopefully encourage our readers to comment following our guidelines.

March 20, 2017 at 4:31 PM

By: Rod Estvan

I can read some Russian

Я могу читать по-русски

How bizarre is all of this? I suspect Trump is behind all of this.

Rod Estvan

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