Petition statement to be delivered to Rahm Emanuel, Mayor, The Illinois State House, The Illinois State Senate, and Governor Pat Quinn

Enact an Elected Representative School Board in Chicago

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Enact an Elected Representative School Board in Chicago

To be delivered to Rahm Emanuel, Mayor, The Illinois State House, The Illinois State Senate, and Governor Pat Quinn

Petition Statement

Introduction: The 1995 Amendatory Act gave the Chicago mayor sole authority to lead Chicago Public Schools and the ability to appoint a five-member Board of Trustees and a CEO to lead the school district. In 1999, the Amendatory Act expanded the Board to seven and restored the name ―Board of Education of the City of Chicago.

Ninety-six percent of school districts in the nation have elected school boards, with a variety of structures and methods of electing members. Every school district in Illinois except for Chicago is governed by some form of an elected school board. (http://www.ctunet.com/legislative/bill-elected-school-board)

There is compelling evidence that, for over 15 years, the CPS Appointed Board‘s policies have failed to improve the education of the vast majority of Chicago public school students.The Illinois Legislature must pass a law to enact an elected school board.

Present: An overwhelming majority of Chicagoans in 327 precincts VOTED YES on the advisory referendum for an Elected Representative School Board (ERSB) for CPS on November 6th. The results on the Elected School Board Referendum are 87% in favor where it was on the ballot.

An Elected Representative School Board would be accountable to the citizens of Chicago as well as CPS teachers, parents and students and would be more diverse, reflecting the people it serves. Election requirements could mandate specific qualifications and cap campaign expenditures, thus reducing the influence of money and politics on education. (Info from CODE Chicago - Communities Organized for Democracy in Education https://sites.google.com/site/codechicago/)

I urge the City of Chicago and Illinois State Legislature to look into the forming of a well thought out elected school board structure.
There are currently 3,539 signatures. NEW goal - We need 4,000 signatures!

Petition Background

UPDATE: The Elected Representative School Board (ERSB) referendum will appear on the ballot in 38 wards in the February 24, 2015 Municipal General Election, the result of a successful campaign by the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU), Grassroots Education Movement, United Working Families, Grassroots Illinois Action, SEIU HCii and scores of volunteers throughout the city of Chicago. There were no objections filed to challenge the approximately 66,000 signatures on the ERSB petitions, which will appear on ballots in all of Chicago’s wards except for 2, 9, 11, 13, 18, 23, 39, 41, 42, 43, 44 and 48. (SOURCE Chicago Teachers Union: http://www.ctunet.com/blog/elected-school-board-lands-on-2015-municipal-election-ballot)

The Chicago Public Schools (CPS) Board—appointed by the mayor— is not accountable to the people it is supposed to serve. The Board is failing our children.

Lack of focus on proper education creates a population unequipped to face the challenges of the competitive world and also has been known to contribute to increases in crime. We must stop the corporate management and data reliance driven approach towards reforming and maintaining our school structures. We cannot have political appointees who who have no accountability to the parents and children of Chicago. Students are not just data and teachers are not just parts that need to be managed.

The Board should be selected by the people, the voters of the city of Chicago. The ultimate goal must be that resources are exhausted so that every neighborhood school is a quality school. This can only be achieved through an Elected Representative School Board. Election requirements could mandate specific qualifications and cap campaign expenditures, thus reducing the nasty side of politics.

While the actual makeup of this board can be up for debate (half appointed/elected, fully elected, district wise breakdown, parental involvement, Local School Council member involvement); the debate NEEDS to start, and it needs to start NOW! We live in a Democracy, and we need true representation!

Another great source for info:
http://ilraiseyourhand.org/content/elected-representative-school-board-campaign

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